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Press Release Southern Utah pulled down 42 rebounds to Utah State's 27, but still came up short 53-44 as the Thunderbirds were only able to turn the strong effort on the glass into 11 second-chance points. The loss drops the T-Birds to 3-10 on the year while Utah State improves to 6-5.
"We did a great job on the glass today," head coach JR Payne said after the game. "We also did a nice job of executing, but our problem was that the shots just didn't fall for us."
Utah State opened the game with the first three baskets, building a 6-0 lead over the first three minutes. The T-Birds fought back to tie the game minutes later as Challis Pasucci's layup squard the score at 8-8 with 14:23 on the clock. Another layup by Pascucci and a steal by Cassie Burgess leading to a second consecutive layup gave the T-Birds their largest lead of the game 17-14 with 9:35 to play.
The Aggies countered with an 8-0 run to bring the lead back to their side, but a layup by Tayler Anderson with just under three minutes to play cut the margin back to one (22-21). A 3-point basket by Utah State's Pualei Furtado gave Utah State a four-point lead going into the break with the score set at 25-21.
USU came out hot in the second half, building its first double-digit lead of the game (36-25) less than four minutes into the final stanza. The lead grew to as much as 17 (47-30) in favor of the visiting team as the Aggies held onto the advantage throughout the rest of the final half, shooting better than 52 percent over the final 20 minutes. A Pascucci free throw with seven seconds left cut the deficit back to single digits, but the T-Birds couldn't get any closer, falling 53-44 at the final whistle.
Southern Utah was without a double-digit scorer for a second consecutive game despite points from eight different players during the game. The Thunderbirds were led on the glass by Pascucci with 13, marking her sixth double-digit rebounding effort of the season. She was joined by Chanel Thorley with a career-high ten rebounds. Utah State's Amber White led all scorers with a game-high ten points.
The Thunderbirds will now have an extended break before their next game as the team will not play until a road contest at UMKC on Monday, January 4.
(Courtesy SUU Athletic Department)