LAS VEGAS —Utah State women's basketball (10-10, 5-4 Mountain West) lost 77-56 to UNLV (7-13, 5-4 MW) in the Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Saturday.
USU junior guard/forward Shannon Dufficy led the Aggies with a career-high-tying 26 points as well as seven rebounds and two blocks.
Utah State took an early 9-4 lead after layups from junior guard Eliza West and senior guard Rachel Brewster, along with a Dufficy triple. UNLV, however, closed out the quarter with a 20-5 run for the 24-11 advantage.
A Dufficy trey and jumpers from senior center Deja Mason and Dufficy cut the lead to six at 24-18 early in the second quarter. The Aggies did not hit another field goal until a Dufficy 3-pointer cut UNLV's lead to 10 at 34-24 with 2:37 to play. Dufficy then made USU's final bucket of the half as UNLV led 40-28 at the break.
The Aggies opened the third quarter with a 6-0 run after buckets from Brewster and Dufficy to trim the lead to six at 40-34. UNLV responded with a 7-0 run to extend its advantage to 47-34 with 5:40 left to play. USU again came within six at 51-45 with 1:23 remaining after a Dufficy three and a jumper from junior guard/forward Hailey Bassett, but UNLV took the 55-45 lead at the end of the period.
After junior guard Olivia West hit a three to make it a seven-point game at 55-48 with 9:47 to go, the Aggies did not hit another field goal until freshman forward Emma Dudley hit a jumper with 23 seconds left to play as UNLV took the 77-56 victory.Comment on this story
UNLV was led by redshirt senior guard Nikki Wheatley with 20 points, nine rebounds and five assists.
Utah State shot 38.8 percent (19 of 49) from the field, 35.7 percent (5 of 14) from behind the arc and 72.2 percent (13 of 18) at the free-throw line. UNLV shot 49.2 percent (30 of 61) from the floor, 42.9 percent (6 of 14) from the 3-point line and 91.7 percent (11 of 12) at the free-throw line.
Utah State returns to the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum on Wednesday, Feb. 6, to host Fresno State (13-7, 6-3 MW) at 7 p.m.