Utah State women's basketball (8-7, 3-1 MW) proved defense wins games on Saturday as the Aggies held Wyoming (8-4, 2-2 MW) to a season-low 42 points in their 50-42 victory in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
Wyoming entered Saturday's game being first in the nation in 3-point field goal percentage, shooting 43.7 percent (111-of-254) from behind the arc. The Aggies held the Cowgirls to a season-low 19.0 percent (4-of-21) from the 3-point line and also held Wyoming to a season low from the field as the Cowgirls shot 32.7 percent (16-of-49) from the floor.
Junior guard/forward Shannon Dufficy recorded her fifth-consecutive double-double of the season with a career-high-tying 24 points to go along with 14 rebounds. Junior guard/forward Hailey Bassett-Meacham scored 11 points and led the team with a career-high-tying four blocks. Junior guard Eliza West led the Aggies in assists with six.
A couple of jumpers from senior guard Rachel Brewster and Dufficy gave USU the 4-2 lead with 7:01 to play in the first quarter. Wyoming responded with a 7-0 run to lead 9-4 with 5:48 remaining. A Dufficy layup ended the run, but the Cowgirls held the 11-6 edge to end the period.
The Aggies opened the second quarter with a 14-2 run to lead 20-13 with 2:10 on the clock after a three from junior guard Olivia West. Utah State ended the quarter with a 22-17 advantage after only allowing six Wyoming points.
After a Cowgirl 3-pointer, the Aggies extended their lead to six at 26-20 with 6:52 to go in the third in the quarter after layups from Bassett-Meacham and O. West. After Wyoming cut the lead to one, 29-28, Dufficy and Bassett-Meacham knocked down some free throws to lead, 32-28, with 2:42 to play. Wyoming tied it up, 32-32, with less than two minutes remaining. A Bassett-Meacham layup marked the final points for the Aggie in the quarter, as the teams ended the stanza tied at 34-34.
USU outscored Wyoming, 16-8, in the final stanza. A couple of Dufficy layups and an O. West jumper gave USU the 40-34 lead with 4:52 remaining. Layups from O. West and Bassett-Meacham, followed by an O. West free throw, gave USU the nine-point edge, 45-36, with 44 seconds left. Bassett-Meacham, Dufficy and Gorman each knocked down free throws in the final 39 seconds to secure the Aggies' 50-42 victory.Comment on this story
Two Cowgirls scored in double figures as freshman guard Karla Erjavec had 14 points and senior forward Marta Gomez had 11. Senior forward Bailee Cotton led Wyoming on the glass with 11 boards.
Utah State shot 41.3 percent (19-of-46) from the field, 33.3 percent (3-of-9) from behind the arc and 69.2 percent (9-of-13) at the free-throw line. Wyoming was 54.5 percent (6-of-11) at the charity stripe.
Utah State next hosts San José State (1-13, 0-3 MW) on Wednesday, Jan. 16, at 11 a.m., for USU's annual Elementary Day in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.