Talk about one to forget.
Utah State, coming off a pretty good week of practice, couldn’t get anything going against San Jose State Saturday afternoon.
As a result, the Spartans led wire-to-wire in a 103-80 victory over the Aggies in a Western Athletic Conference women’s basketball game at The Event Center in San Jose, Calif.
“It was a very confusing game and outcome of the game,” USU head coach Jerry Finkbeiner said. “We (had) everything from Devyn (Christensen) going 0-for-11 from the 3 and Jenna Johnson having nine turnovers and Franny Vaaulu doesn’t score.
“It’s just a really hard one to explain, and it’s compounded with how well we practiced the last few days, especially (Friday) night. Everything seemed to be coming together and yet, we were just flatter than flat tonight.”
The 103 points scored by the Spartans (5-11, 2-3 WAC), who snapped a three-game losing streak, tied a school record.
Another head-scratcher for Finkbeiner and the Aggies was the fact SJSU forward Emily Schill went off for 36 points and 17 rebounds.
Schill came into the game averaging just 9.8 points and 6.7 rebounds per game.
“She totally dominated us, and it had nothing to do with low-post plays,” Finkbeiner said of Schill. “It was all second-chance putbacks, it was all help, maybe another defender and not recovering back to this kid. I think we could have probably had three or four girls on our team get 36 points tonight, too, if they had the same shots that this kid had.
“... She outscored, outplayed, outrebounded our four bigs all by herself.”
Schill also had six assists, four steals, two blocks and zero turnovers in 36 minutes of action.
Ta’Rea Cunnigan added 26 points and Riana Byrd chipped in 15 points and 13 rebounds for the Spartans, who snapped a 10-game losing streak to the Aggies (6-10, 3-2).
To make matters even worse for USU was the fact freshman guard Makenlee Williams, who led the Aggies with 19 points on 7 of 12 shooting, sprained her ankle late in the game.
“Mak had a — I don’t know what grade it is — good ankle roll with about four or five minutes to go in the game, so we’ll kind of see how that plays out,” Finkbeiner said. “That was very unfortunate because from the eight-minute mark of the first half to about the eight-minute mark in the second half, she had a very good statistical game, then went down with a rolled ankle.”
Williams was one of five USU players to score in double figures. Jennifer Schlott scored 16 points, while Johnson had her fourth-straight double-double — fifth of the year — with 14 points and 12 boards.
Christensen scored 13 points, but struggled to get there as she shot 4 for 25 from the field. Elise Nelson scored a season-high 10 points off the bench for the Aggies.
USU missed its first three shots and had two early turnovers, allowing the Spartans to open an 8-0 lead early on.
“We’ve got to figure out what we’re going to do with the starting lineup or with the game plan of how to avoid (slow starts) because it’s almost becoming commonplace trying to regroup and get things going, and trying to play ourselves back into it,” Finkbeiner said. “... It’s not fun and it’s very challenging when you dig a hole every game and spend the next 36 minutes trying to get out of it.”
Christensen scored the Aggies’ first basket with less than 17 minutes to go in the first half. USU, which was plagued by six turnovers in the first eight minutes, trailed SJSU 15-4 with 14 minutes remaining in the half.
The Aggies only shot 29.9 percent for the game (26 of 87) and committed 22 turnovers, which the Spartans turned into 29 points.
Jayzyl Tauala was the only SJSU reserve player to score as she had 11 points. The Spartans shot 44.4 percent and dominated the points in the paint 48-26.