Utah State women's basketball wrapped up the home portion of its season Tuesday, as the Aggies defeated San José State, 86-78.
Utah State had four players score in double figures Tuesday, with sophomore guard/forward Shannon Dufficy leading the group with 19 points. She was joined by sophomore guard Olivia West and sophomore guard/forward Hailey Bassett with 18 points apiece, and junior guard Rachel Brewster who finished the night with 15 points. Dufficy was also the top rebounder on the night, finishing the game with 16 boards for her seventh double-double of the season. San José State had three players in double digits, with Myzhanique Ladd leading all scorers at 23 points.
On the night, Utah State posted a season-high 24 assists. The 24 are the most by the Aggie team since December 19, 2014, when the team tied the program record of 28 assists in a game at Sacramento State. Sophomore guard Eliza West led that category with a career-best 10, becoming the first USU player to record 10 or more since the 2011-12 season. The Aggies' 86 points Tuesday night are the second-most by the team this season but are the most scored against a Mountain West opponent since March 1, 2014, when USU put up 96 points against San José State.
With the win, Utah State improves to 7-21 on the season, including a 5-12 Mountain West record, winning back-to-back games for the first time this season. San José State falls to the same 7-21 overall but 4-13 in league play.
The teams traded shots to start the game, each scoring on its first possession. The Aggies surged ahead through the middle of the quarter, sparked by an 8-0 run over a two-minute stretch. Bassett and the Spartans battled then, as she put up six-straight points for the Aggies, alternating between San José State layups. SJSU shot and made a last-second shot from near half court, but it was not released in time, so the Aggies had a 21-11 lead at the end of the quarter.
The second quarter started much the same as the first, with the Aggies going on a run after a few back-and-forth made field goals. Utah State quickly built up its lead, holding the Spartans to just three free throws in five-and-a-half minutes. SJSU ended its skid with a layup at the 2:47 mark of the quarter and was able to keep the Aggies off the board until the final seconds of the quarter. Freshman guard Emmie Harris made a final free throw for Utah State, giving the Aggies a 40-28 advantage heading into the halftime break.
Dufficy opened the third quarter with a quick five points, becoming the first Aggie to reach double figures in the game. Her teammates quickly followed, as Olivia West, Brewster and Bassett each added points through the next minutes to top the 10-point mark. Utah State put together 32 points in the course of the third quarter, its second-highest-scoring quarter of the season. San José State made the final layup of the quarter, but the Aggies held the 20-point lead, up 72-52.
Roles reversed a bit in the fourth quarter, as Utah State had its lowest-scoring quarter of the game and the Spartans had their highest. The San José State surge included five-straight makes from the 3-point line, but the Spartans could not quite catch the Aggies. SJSU cut USU's lead to single digits for the first time since the first quarter. Olivia West hit a jump shot to go back up by 11, but the Spartans added one last 3-point shot to end the game.
Overall, Utah State shot 46.7 percent (35-of-75) from the floor, 27.5 percent (3-of-11) from the 3-point line and 92.9 percent (13-of-14) from the free-throw line. San José State shot 45.6 percent (31-of-68) from the field, including 34.3 percent (12-of-35) from behind the arc, and was 66.7 percent (4-of-6) from the free-throw line.
Utah State wraps up the 2017-18 regular season on Friday, March 2, at 7 p.m. MT, in a game at UNLV (18-10, 13-4 MW). The Aggies will then stay in Las Vegas for the Mountain West Championships, which are slated to begin on Monday, March 5.
Megan McCuistion is an Assistant Media Relations Coordinator at Utah State.