It was Devyn Christensen’s game to win for Utah State.
The senior guard did not disappoint.
Christensen hit a 3-pointer with two seconds remaining in double-overtime, propelling the Aggies to a 92-89 road win over Denver in a Western Athletic Conference women’s basketball game Thursday night at Magness Arena.
“She was probably 10 to 12 feet above the 3-point line,” USU head coach Jerry Finkbeiner said. “It was the last possession of the game and we just flattened the court out for her, put everybody down on the baseline and said, ‘Devyn, with about eight or nine seconds to go, we want you to take it.’
“With about five seconds left, I’m screaming at her, ‘Devyn, go, go.’ She just took one step up and fired and the shot. It was nothing but net.”
Christensen finished with 21 points as the Aggies (14-10, 11-2 WAC) won their eighth straight game.
The eight-straight wins ties the 1975-76 team for the longest in school history. The 11 conference wins also ties the 2011-12 team for most league victories.
This was USU’s fifth overtime game of the season as the Aggies improved to 4-1 in those contests.
The last time USU played in double overtime was during the 2008-09 season, when it beat Idaho 70-64 on Feb. 22.
Three different Aggies finished in double-figure scoring for the first time this season as Jenna Johnson poured in a career-high 28 points, while Jennifer Schlott added 27 before fouling out.
“We had a couple of unsung heroes,” Finkbeiner said. “Pua (Furtado) came off the bench when Jen Schlott fouled out and did a great job coming in. And then Elise Nelson came up with a couple of key rebounds.”
Kailey Edwards led all scorers with 31 points, while Morgan Van Riper-Rose added 25 for the Pioneers (11-14, 6-8). Maiya Michel had the game’s only double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
The Aggies scored 92 points, despite a season-low four assists.
With just 7:18 left in regulation, Christensen dove to the ground for a steal, passing to a wide open Furtado for an easy layup. The basket cut the lead to 61-60 — the closest USU had been since it was tied 16-apiece.
The Aggies took their first lead of the game at 63-61 on a 3-pointer by Christensen with 6:14 left in the second half.
With 10 seconds remaining, Edwards drilled a jumper to give the Pioneers a 74-72 advantage. USU would not be stopped, though, as Nelson sunk a jumper with two seconds remaining to force overtime.
Freshman Haylee Thompson sent the game to double overtime for the Aggies when she made a layup with 51 seconds left to tie it at 83-all.
Denver led by as many as four in the second overtime, but USU didn’t fold. Furtado, who came up big for the Aggies, tied it at 89-all when she scored on a layup with 2:22 left.
Two minutes later, Christensen hit the game-winner.
“Pua had a couple of individual plays both offensively and defensively that gave us a chance,” Finkbeiner said. “The girls just never die and it’s kind of a culture within the team, ‘Hey, bring it on.’
“We started off slow and really grinded it out all game long.”