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USU basketball: Aggies host South Dakota in first round of WBI Thursday

By Doug Hoffman

For the Deseret News

Published: Wednesday, March 20 2013 12:29 p.m. MDT

Utah State women’s basketball (18-13) had its season extended with an invitation to the Women’s Basketball Invitational. The Aggies take on South Dakota on Thursday, March 21 at 7 p.m. at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.

This is the fourth edition of the WBI with Minnesota taking the championship in 2012, while 2013 WAC regular-season champion, Seattle, made the WBI’s final four last season. In 2011, UAB captured the crown with Appalachian State winning the inaugural WBI in 2010.

The winner of the USU-USD game will take on the winner of the game between second-seeded Lamar and Presbyterian.

This is the third-straight season that Utah State has advanced to the postseason with back-to-back Women’s National Invitation Tournament berths. Last season, the Aggies fell in the first round of the WNIT to in-state rival Utah, 69-58. In 2011, USU defeated Arizona, 103-95, for the first USU win in a postseason game since the AIAW Championship in 1977. The Aggies fell in the second round to BYU, 102-63, in Provo, giving USU a 1-2 WNIT record. This is the first time that Utah State has played in the WBI, and USU’s second-ever home postseason game.

This is the second time this season that the Aggies and the Coyotes have met in the Spectrum. On Dec. 20, Utah State snapped a five-game losing streak with a 70-69 win over South Dakota. Senior guard Devyn Christensen drilled a 3-pointer with 10 seconds left to propel USU to victory. The Dec. 20 match-up was the first meeting in the all-time series between the Aggies and Coyotes.

Four different Aggies were in double digits in scoring led by 25 points by Christensen. It was her seventh 20-point game this season. Senior guard Jenna Johnson added 16 points, while junior guard Jennifer Schlott scored 12 points and added a career-high eight assists.

Three different Coyotes scored in double figures with Tempestt Wilson scoring 18. Margaret McCloud had a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Nicole Seekamp added 14 points and eight boards.

South Dakota has experience in the WBI, defeating 2013 Western Athletic Conference Tournament Champion Idaho in the first round in 2011.

So far this season, Utah State has scored 2,379 points in 31 games. The Aggies are just 13 points away from tying the school record for points scored in a season. The 1982 team scored 2,392 points.

Doug Hoffman is the assistant athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.

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