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Women's basketball falls to BYU

staff writer

Published: Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, December 5, 2012 00:12

Despite a balanced offensive attack, the Utah State women’s basketball team lost their sixth game of the season Tuesday night. The Aggies traveled to Provo to take on in-state rival BYU, losing the hard-fought match 81-77.

USU is now four games below .500 at 2-6 and BYU is sitting even at 4-4 on the season.

The Aggies had four players score in double digits. Seniors Jenna Johnson and Devyn Christensen combined for 35 points, junior Jennifer Schlott had 16 points and freshman Mackenlee Williams chipped in with 15 points.

The Cougars got strong contributions from guards Haley Steed and Kim Parker Beeston. Steed finished the game with 22 points and 12 assists while Beeston had 14 points, four rebounds and five assists.

USU came out strong to start the game and held the lead for nine minutes before the Cougars came storming back. A layup by Schlott got things started for USU and freshman Williams hit a 3-pointer on the next possession.

USU pushed their lead to 11-5 with 15 minutes remaining in the half after a jumper by Christensen. BYU continued to chip away at the USU lead and eventually gained the lead 15-13 with 11 minutes in the first half.

In the final 10 minutes of the half the two teams traded baskets and were tied four times. At 26-26 with six minutes remaining in the half, the Cougars took control of the game and pushed their lead to 11 with 59 seconds left on the clock.

A 3-pointer from freshman Stephanie Bairstow right before half cut the BYU lead 39-31.

Williams led the Aggies in scoring in the first half with 10 points. Schlott and Christensen each chipped in with seven. The Cougars were paced by Steed and Beeston with nine and eight points respectively.

As the second half began it looked as though BYU was poising itself to go on a major run and blow the game wide open. The Cougars opened up a 46-34 lead after a trey by Beeston.

USU chipped into the lead cutting it to single digits on multiple occasions but a 3-pointer by Kylie Maeda pushed the lead back to 13, but the Aggies rallied.

Led by their senior leaders in Christensen and Johnson, USU pulled within one point on two occasions. The first was at the 8:25 mark when Christensen tipped the ball to make it 60-59. The Cougars scored on the next possession but Johnson came right back with a pair a free-throws to put the Aggies down one with seven minutes to play.

That was as close as USU got as BYU held on and make free-throws down the stretch and seal the victory.

The Aggies’ next game with be Saturday when they travel to South Bend, Ind., to take on last year’s national runner up in No. 5 Notre Dame. The game is scheduled for a 10 a.m. local time tipoff.

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