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Press ReleaseLOGAN, Utah - Behind a 13-steal performance from junior guard Alice Coddington, the Utah State women's basketball team convincingly defeated instate rival Weber State, 72-51, Monday at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
Coddington's 13 steals was one shy of the NCAA record. The last player in the nation to reach 13 steals was IUPUI's Jernisha Cann against Gardner Webb on Nov. 24, 2007. The last player to reach 14 grabs was Georgia Tech's Jillian Ingram against Virginia Tech on Feb. 20, 2008. The 13 steals also bested the Western Athletic Conference record by two. Nevada's Cherlanda Franklin had 11 steals during the 2007-08 season and BYU's Tomika Young had 11 during the 1991-92 season.The Utah State record was 12 steals sets by Carol Garrison against Northern Arizona in 1981.
Coddington added 13 points for her first double-double of the season. The record-breaking steal came with 5:24 remaining in the game. USU was led by senior guard Tahara Williams who scored a career-high 15 points in 28 minutes of action. Senior center also added a double-double for the Aggies with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Weber State's Caitlin Anderson scored a game-high 17 points for the Wildcats. Tonya Schnibbe added 10 points for WSU in the loss.
With the win Utah State evens out its record at 5-5. Weber State drops to 6-7 with the loss. The win was only its second of the month for USU, but it was also the second its last three games.
Once again, the Aggies got help from the bench, outscoring the Wildcats 37-7 in bench points. USU also scored 36 points in the paint. Utah State outscored Weber State 12-2 in second chance points.
Despite scoring the first basket of the game, Utah State found itself in an early hole after a layup by Anderson gave the Wildcats a three-point lead which was its biggest lead of the game. A layup by Whitehead and free throw by Coddington tied the scored at 9-9 with 15:59 remaining in the first half. When USU took a two-point lead with 10:58 left in the first stanza, it would not relinquish that lead.
The Aggies would open up as big a lead as 13 points in the first half, using a 9-0 run to take 32-19 lead with 3:55 left in the half. A Sarah Conner three-pointer cut the lead down to 10 as the half ended. USU lead going into the locker room, 38-28.
In the second half, the Wildcats cut the lead down to as small as six points when Schnibbe hit a three pointer with 10:06 remaining to cut the lead to 47-41. USU then scored eight of the next 10 points to build a 12-point lead.
USU took its first 20-point lead of the game after a LeeAnn Palo layup with 0:42 seconds remaining in the game. Down the stretch, the Aggies were solid from the charity stripe, making 11 of their final 12 free throws. Freshman guard Pualei Furtado was 4-for-4 from the free throw line en route to her first four points as an Aggie.
For the game, USU shot 51 percent from the field (26-of-51) and 33 percent from the three-point line (3-of-9). USU shot 71 percent from the free throw line (17-of-24). It was the second time this season that USU shot of 50 percent from the field. The other time was a lights out shooting night against Utah on Nov. 13 when the Aggies shot 54 percent.
Weber State shot 44 percent from the field (19-of-43) and 46 percent from three (5-of-11). The Wildcats shot 73 percent from the free throw line (8-of-11).
USU is now 2-1 against schools from the Beehive State with wins against Utah and Weber State and a loss to BYU. The Aggies still have to play Southern Utah (Dec. 23) and Utah Valley (Dec. 31) before they say goodbye to the decade. Utah State travels to Southern Utah on Wednesday, Dec. 23 for its second-straight day game, taking on the Thunderbirds at Noon.
(Courtesy USU Athletic Department)