Utah State women's basketball (6-6, 1-0 Mountain West) posted a 79-76 double-overtime home victory in its Mountain West opener against Nevada (4-8, 0-1 Mountain West) on Wednesday night in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
Four Aggies scored in double figures as junior guard Olivia West had 22 points, junior guard/forward Shannon Dufficy had 20, senior guard Rachel Brewster had 13 and junior guard/forward Hailey Bassett-Meacham had 12. Dufficy recorded her sixth double-double of the season with 13 rebounds to go along with a career-high six blocks. Junior guard Eliza West led the team with seven assists.
USU started off with an 11-5 lead after Brewster hit a three and a jumper with 5:18 to play in the first quarter. Nevada responded with a 9-2 run to take the 14-13 lead with 2:15 on the clock. Bassett-Meacham closed out the quarter with a layup to give the Aggies the 15-14 advantage.
The Aggies and Wolf Pack stayed pretty close in the opening minutes of the second quarter, but USU used an 8-0 run to lead 27-18 with 3:23 remaining after a layup from junior forward Marlene Aniambossou, a Brewster jumper and a pair of layups from O. West. The Aggies continued to hold their lead, and a Dufficy layup with 2:09 to play put USU up 31-22 heading into the break.
USU extended its lead to 11, 35-24, after an O. West jumper and a Brewster layup with 7:17 to go in the third period. O. West made a four-point play after knocking down a trey and converting the free throw to give Utah State the 15-point edge, 45-30, with 3:43 on the clock. After some back and forth, the Wolf Pack closed out the quarter with a 6-1 run as the Aggies held the 50-41 lead at the end of the third.
Nevada cut Utah State's lead to one, 54-53, after an 8-0 run with 4:55 to go in the fourth quarter. A free throw and layup from Dufficy extended USU's lead back out to four, 57-53, with 3:42 remaining. Nevada tied the game up, 57-57, with 2:30 left to play. A Gorman trey put the Aggies up one, 60-59, with 1:20 remaining, but a Nevada free throw tied it up at 60-60 to send the game into overtime.
The Wolf Pack scored the first bucket of overtime, but free throws from Dufficy and an O. West layup put the Aggies up 64-62 with 3:32 on the clock. The teams traded buckets with a Dufficy triple giving USU the 69-67 lead with a minute to go, but Nevada made a layup to send the game into double overtime.
E. West made a layup to put the Aggies up 71-69 with 4:40 to go in the second overtime, and Utah State never trailed again. Layups from Dufficy and O. West gave the Aggies a five-point advantage, 75-70, with 1:21 to go. The Wolf Pack came within one twice, but free throws from O. West sealed USU's 79-76 victory.Comment on this story
Nevada was led by senior forward Terae Briggs with 30 points and 12 rebounds. Senior guard Jade Redmon and freshman guard Essence Booker each scored 11 points.
Utah State shot 44.9 percent (31-of-69) from the field, 26.7 percent (4-of-15) from behind the arc and 86.7 percent (13-of-15) at the free-throw line. Nevada shot 33.8 percent (24-of-71) from the floor, 20.0 percent (4-of-20) from the 3-point line and 80.0 percent (24-of-30) at the free-throw line.
Utah State next travels to USAFA, Colorado, to take on Air Force (4-8, 0-1 Mountain West) on Saturday, Jan. 5, at 2 p.m.