BOISE — Junior guard Devyn Christensen and senior forward Maddy Plunkett both scored 17 points as the Utah State women's basketball team led the whole game in a 62-54 win over Boise State at Taco Bell Arena in Boise on Thursday.
The win was the Aggies' fourth straight against former Western Athletic Conference rival Boise State. Utah State has swept the two-game series the last two seasons. The Aggies end the 2011 portion of the schedule with a 7-5 record, while the Broncos fall to 7-6 this season.
Senior forward Ashlee Brown added 12 for Utah State along with seven rebounds. Plunkett led USU with nine boards. Ten different USU players brought down at least one rebound as the Aggies outrebounded the Broncos 38-34 for the game. This is the second straight game that USU has outrebounded its opponent.
For the game, Boise State was led by 12 points from Lauren Lenhardt who scored 10 of her 12 points in the second half. Keiahnna Engel added 10 points for the Broncos, while Nicole Brady led both teams with 11 rebounds.
Utah State got off to a quick start, scoring the first seven points of the game. The Broncos were turnover prone early in the game with four turnovers in the first four minutes. Christensen scored six of USU's first 13 points as the Aggies started hot.
Behind eight early points from Kati Isham, the Broncos fought back, cutting the Utah State lead to 13-10 with 11:43 left in the first half.
Brown struggled from the field early in the game, making her first basket with 6:26 left in the half. She was solid from the free-throw line, going 5-for-6 in the first half.
After two free throws by Christensen, USU jumped to a 10-point lead 26-16 with less than four minutes left in the half. A 9-0 run late in the half gave the Aggies their biggest lead of the half, 31-16. A Heather Pilcher free throw late cut the lead to 14 which is where it would stand at half.
In the first 20 minutes of action, Utah State was led by 15 points by Christensen, just three points shy of her season-high. Brown added nine points, scoring five from the charity stripe. Utah State won the rebounding battle in the first half, outrebounding the Broncos 19-15.
The Aggie defense was solid in the first half, forcing 14 turnovers with seven first-half steals.
After scoring 30 points in the last meeting between the Aggies and the Broncos, USU was able to keep Brady off the scoreboard in the first half. The Broncos were led by eight points from Isham. Cinnamon Lister added five first-half points for Boise State.
Freshman guard Elise Nelson scored the first four points of the second half for USU as the Aggies jumped out to a 16 points lead with 17:16 left in the game.
A no-look pass from Brown to Christensen that led to a layup put Utah State up 45-25 with less than 13 minutes left in the game.
In the second half, the Aggies held a double-digit lead the whole half, leading by as many as 23 after a layup by senior guard Brooke Jackson. Thirteen different players saw action for Utah State in the game with nine different Aggies' scoring.
For the game, the Aggies shot 40.7 percent from the field (22-of-54) and 37.5 percent from three (6-of-16). Utah State shot 77.8 percent from the free-throw line (14-of-18). The Broncos shot 35.2 percent from the field (19-of-54) and 33.3 percent from three (6-of-18). The Broncos shot 61.5 from the free-throw line (8-of-13). Boise State made a season-high 25 turnovers.
Utah State will now take a break to celebrate the holidays. The Aggies are back in action on Tuesday, Jan. 3 against Asbury College at 7 p.m. USU will conclude the nonconference portion of the schedule on Jan. 7, hosting Utah Valley at 7 p.m.