Junior guard Eliza West dished out a career-high 13 assists to lead USU women's basketball to its third-consecutive win, with a 67-62 victory over Utah Valley on Saturday in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
West's 13 assists rank second all-time in Utah State history in a single game. Corrina Poto set the record of 14 in 1982.
Three Aggies scored in double figures in the victory as junior guard Olivia West had 16, freshman guard Steph Gorman had 14 and junior guard/forward Shannon Dufficy had 12. Dufficy also led Utah State on the glass, collecting eight rebounds, O. West led the team in steals with four, and senior center Deja Mason led USU with a pair of blocks.
Utah State converted 33 points off Utah Valley's 28 turnovers, the most by an Aggie opponent this season. USU recorded 16 steals on the night, with five Aggies recording multiple thefts. The Aggies scored 15 fast break points to the Wolverines' two, while the USU bench continued producing for the Aggies this season, outscoring the Wolverine bench, 31-12.
Dufficy scored the opening bucket of the first quarter, but Utah Valley led the remainder of the period. UVU took a 10-point lead, 16-6, with 1:52 remaining. A couple of triples from O. West trimmed the lead to four, 16-12, to end the quarter.
A Gorman trey gave the Aggies their first lead since the opening 30 seconds of the game, 20-18, with 8:23 remaining in the second. USU grew its lead to five, 27-22, after a Gorman three, Dufficy jumper and a bucket from senior guard Rachel Brewster — all of which were assisted by E. West — with 5:31 left to play in the period. Another Gorman triple and E. West assist put USU up six, 33-27, with a minute on the clock. UVU made a layup to cut the lead to four, 33-29, heading into the break. E. West had a then-season-high nine assists at the half.
USU extended the lead out to 10, 43-33, after a Dufficy layup and another Gorman triple with 7:02 to go in the third. After some back-and-forth action, the Aggies went on a 12-0 run to lead 57-39 after a Dufficy layup, a three from sophomore guard Emmie Harris, layups from Brewster and Harris and another Harris trey with 33 seconds remaining. A Wolverine layup at the end of the period gave USU the 57-41 advantage at the end of the third.
USU maintained the double-digit lead for the first half of the fourth quarter. The Aggies led by 16, 63-47, after a 6-0 run behind layups from O. West and Dufficy. UVU proceeded on a 12-0 run to cut the lead to five, 63-58, with 47 seconds left to play. Gorman and Dufficy converted from the charity stripe to keep the Wolverines at bay as the Aggies took the 67-62 victory.Comment on this story
Utah Valley was led by junior forward/center Jordan Holland with 24 points and 10 rebounds. Junior guard Alexis Cortez also was in double figures with 11 points.
Utah State shot 42.6 percent (26-of-61) from the field, 38.5 percent (10-of-26) from behind the arc and 83.3 percent (5-of-6) at the free-throw line. Utah Valley shot 49.0 percent (25-of-51) from the floor, 33.3 percent (4-of-12) from the 3-point line and 80.0 percent (8-of-10) at the charity stripe.
USU continues its homestand as the Aggies host Long Beach State (1-10) on Saturday, Dec. 22, at 2 p.m., in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.