With a season-high shooting percentage and four double-digit scorers, Utah State women's basketball closed the week of competition Saturday in a 79-57 home win over Nevada.
USU shot a season-high 54.7 percent from the field Saturday, matching the team's season best with 35 field goals made. As a team, Utah State put together a season-high 21 assists, led by sophomore guard Eliza West who matched her career high with nine. Additionally, the 22-point victory was the largest point spread for the Aggies in a win this season.
Utah State had four players score in double figures Saturday, with sophomore guard Olivia West leading the team with 16 points. Redshirt sophomore guard Victoria Price finished the game with 15, while sophomore guard/forwards Hailey Bassett and Shannon Dufficy followed with 14 and 11 points, respectively. Dufficy was the leading rebounder for the Aggies, finishing the game with nine boards.
Utah State returns to the win column, improving to 4-13 on the season and 2-4 in Mountain West play. Nevada falls to 9-7 overall and 2-3 in conference action.
The Aggies got started early Saturday, scoring on their first two possessions. Nevada quickly answered, but a jumper from Bassett quickly put the lead back in the Aggies' favor. A pair of free throws gave the Wolf Pack the lead one last time, but Eliza West answered with a 3-point shot before the media timeout. Price quickly gained traction for the Aggies out of the stop, scoring nine-straight points for Utah State, interrupted only by one field goal for Nevada. With Price's run, the Aggies ended the quarter with an 18-9 lead.
Nevada opened the second quarter on a bit of a run to cut into the Aggies' lead. Bassett and Dufficy did all the scoring for Utah State in that period, quickly combining for 15 points. A trey from Dufficy at the 4:04 mark gave USU its first double-digit lead of the day, where it would stay for the remainder of the game. The teams traded baskets through the remainder of the quarter, with Dufficy having the final layup to give Utah State a 33-21 lead at halftime.
The Wolf Pack spent a lot of time at the free-throw line throughout the third quarter but was never able to get back in control of the game. Several Aggies got a chance to participate in the offense with seven different players scoring. Utah State also saw continued success in the paint, scoring 10 points inside, while adding three more makes behind the arc. West put the stamp on the quarter with her second 3-pointer of the day, giving USU the 54-38 advantage.
After shooting 69.2 percent in the third, the Aggie momentum continued into the fourth quarter. With another 12 points in the paint and a trio of 3-pointers from Olivia West, Utah State continued to build up its lead. The Wolf Pack added another eight points at the charity stripe, while the Aggies never did make it to the line. Several Utah State players saw quality minutes on the floor as the clock ticked down, rotating the lineup with the 20-point lead. Redshirt sophomore guard Lindsey Jensen scored the final points for the Aggies with a layup heading into the last minute. Nevada put up two last field goals but secured the Utah State win.
Overall, Utah State shot 54.7 percent (35-of-64) from the floor and 45.0 percent (9-of-20) from the 3-point line. The Aggies did not take any free throws Saturday. Nevada shot 31.6 percent (18-of-57) from the field, including 37.5 percent (3-of-8) from behind the arc, and was 78.3 percent (18-of-23) from the free-throw line.
The Aggies will remain at home to open next week's competition slate, hosting Boise State (10-7, 4-2 MW) on Wednesday, Jan. 17, at 7 p.m. The team will then head on the road to play at Wyoming (11-5, 4-1 MW) on Saturday, Jan. 20, at 2 p.m.
Megan McCuistion is an Assistant Media Relations Coordinator at Utah State.