Behind an efficient shooting night from senior guard Devyn Christensen, Utah State women's basketball cruised to a 73-56 win over Texas State in San Marcos, Texas, on Thursday.
With the win, the Aggies moved into a dead heat with Seattle for first place in the Western Athletic Conference with one game remaining in the regular season. Utah State improves to 17-11 overall and 14-3 in league contests. Texas State falls to 9-19 overall and 3-14 in WAC games.
Christensen led the offensive charge with 24 points which was her 13th 20-point game of the season. The senior scored her 24 points in only 15 minutes of action. Junior guard Jennifer Schlott was also efficient in her scoring with 13 points in 13 minutes. Senior guard Jenna Johnson had 11 points, six rebounds and four assists. Freshman guard Makenlee Williams was the Aggies' top rebounder with seven boards and three assists.
Freshman guard Haylee Thompson added a career-high eight points and tied a career-high with five rebounds.
Diamond Ford led Texas State with 15 points, while Jasmine Baugus had a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds. Off the bench, Ashley Ezeh also had a double-double with 12 points and 10 boards.
The Bobcats missed their first eight shots of the game, allowing Utah State to jump out to an early 9-0 lead. Sophomore forward Franny Vaaulu and Schlott combined for the first nine points of the game for the Aggies. Texas State rebounded to score four-straight before a Christensen three put USU up 12-4 with under 14 left in the half.
The Aggies took their first double-digit lead of the game with a trey by Schlott to give USU a 20-9 lead. Ezeh helped the Bobcats stay in the game, while Utah State foul trouble helped them claw back in the game. Texas State was able to cut the lead to 29-20 with just over two minutes left in the half.
Despite the fouls, five-straight points from Christensen helped USU up its advantage to 36-22 heading into halftime.
Utah State had two players in double figures in the first half with Schlott scoring 12 and Christensen adding 11. Christensen and Johnson both brought down five first-half rebounds. Texas State attempted nine free throws compared to only two by the Aggies. Utah State out-rebounded Texas State 26-20 in the first half.
The Aggies held the WAC's leading scorer, Ford, to five points. She made the Bobcats only three of the half. Off the bench, Ezeh led Texas State with eight points, while Baugus added six points.
Vaaulu helped the Aggies start the second half with a bang with three steals in the first two minutes of the half. After a Christensen long ball, Utah State opened up a 43-26 lead. Christensen scored nine-straight points for the Aggies to increase the lead to 49-29 with under 14 left.
USU kept the pressure on the Bobcats with more solid shooting from Johnson and Christensen. When sophomore Elise Nelson scored to give Utah State a 65-43 lead, she was only the fourth Aggie to score in the second half along with Christensen, Johnson and Vaaulu.
With the 20-point lead, the Aggies were able to get some much-needed rest for its starters. All 12 players that dressed for the game saw action in the game.
For the game, USU was 29-of-61 from the field, good for 47.5 percent. The Aggies were 8-of-24 from three for 33.3 percent. USU was once again solid from the free-throw line, making 7-of-9 for 77.8 percent. Texas State was 18-of-65 from the field, which was good for 27.7 percent. The Bobcats were also 5-of-20 from three for 25.0 percent and 15-of-17 from the charity stripe for 88.2 percent.
The Aggies will conclude the regular season against UTSA on Saturday, March 7 at 5 p.m. (MT). Seeding for the WAC Tournament is still up for grabs with USU fighting with Seattle for the top seed.
Doug Hoffman is the assistant athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.