LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Despite leading for the majority of the game, Utah State fell short in its upset bid of top-seeded Colorado State at the 2014 Reese's Mountain West Women's Basketball Championship as the Rams scored the final eight points to rally for a 72-67 quarterfinal win here Tuesday at the Thomas & Mack Center on the UNLV campus.
Following a jumper from sophomore guard/forward Stephanie Bairstow, Utah State held a 67-64 advantage with 1:14 to play. However, Colorado State finished the game on an 8-0 run as it scored eight points on its final three possessions to post the five-point win.
With the loss, Utah State finishes its season with a 15-16 record as it posted victories in five of its final seven games. Colorado State improves to 24-6 with the win.
Utah State senior guard Jennifer Schlott scored a team-high 20 points and tied her career-high with 11 assists for her fourth career double-double and ends her collegiate career as USU's all-time leading scorer with 1,566 points as she moved ahead of Devyn Christensen (1,551) with her 20 points against CSU. Against the Rams, Schlott was 7-of-17 from the field, 4-of-8 from three-point range and 2-for-3 at the free throw line.
Overall, Schlott scored at least 20 points in each of her final nine games and had 24 20-point games during her senior season and 31 20-point games in her career, including 63 career double-figure scoring games. Schlott also scored in double-figures in her final 32 collegiate games, which dates back to her junior campaign.
Bairstow added a career-high 19 points for Utah State, including 17 in the second-half as she was 9-of-13 from the field. Sophomore guard Makenlee Williams added 14 points and eight rebounds for the Aggies, while junior guard Elise Nelson finished with nine points and eight rebounds.
Gritt Ryder led four Colorado State players in double-figures with 23 points, while Sam Martin scored 15 points, AJ Newton had 11 points and Ellen Nystrom scored 10 points.
Utah State finished the game shooting 41.9 percent (26-62), including 35.7 percent from three-point range (10-28) and 55.6 percent at the free throw line (5-9). Colorado State shot 40.0 percent (22-55), including 22.7 percent from behind the arc (5-22), but was 23-for-28 (.821) at the charity stripe. USU also out-rebounded CSU by 12 boards (40-28) and had seven more assists (19-12) in the game, but also committed eight more turnovers (14-6).
Colorado State began the game with a three-pointer and held an early 8-6 advantage before Utah State scored six unanswered points to lead 12-8. USU pushed its advantage up to five points at 17-12 with 9:40 to play in the half only to see CSU score the next five points to tie it at 17-all. The Rams eventually regained the lead at 22-21 at the 6:38 mark, but the Aggies answered with a 9-2 run to take its largest lead of the half at 30-24 with 2:59 to play. Colorado State then went on a 7-0 run to reclaim the lead at 31-30 only to see Schlott end the first-half scoring with a three-pointer to send the Aggies into the locker room with a 33-31 advantage.
Schlott led Utah State with 17 first-half points as the Aggies shot 36.4 percent (12-33), including 35.3 percent from three-point range (6-17) and 60.0 percent at the free throw line (3-5). CSU shot 30.8 percent in the first-half (8-26), including 30.0 percent from behind the arc (3-10) and 75.0 percent at the charity stripe (12-16).
In the second-half, Colorado State scored the first four points to regain the lead and pushed its advantage to four points at 46-42 with 14:05 to play. USU answered with an 8-0 run to take a 50-46 lead and later led by five points at 54-49 with 9:46 remaining before CSU went on an 8-3 run to tie it at 57-all with 7:36 to play. The Rams pushed its led back to four points and held a 63-59 advantage at the 4:56 mark only to see USU fight back with a 10-3 run to take a 67-64 advantage with 1:14 to play. CSU then concluded the game by scoring the final eight points to post the five-point win.
Overall, the game featured 11 ties and 12 lead changes, including seven ties and six lead changes in the final 20 minutes of play.
Fans can follow USU women's basketball at www.twitter.com/UtahStateWBB, as well as on facebook, at www.facebook.com/USUWBB. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program at twitter.com/USUAthletics or on Facebook at facebook, at www.facebook.com/USUAthletics. Utah State women's basketball is now also on instagram at www.instagram.com/USUWbasketball.
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