WBB Review: Aggie Trio Was Up For The Occasion, But No Match For CSU's Star Power
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WBB Review: Aggie Trio Was Up For The Occasion, But No Match For CSU's Star Power

Utah State garnered big scoring performances from Ivory Finley, Skye Miller and Cheyenne Stubbs, but couldn't keep up with Colorado State in a home loss. WBB Review:
WBB Review: Aggie Trio Was Up For The Occasion, But No Match For CSU's Star Power
Photo via Utah State Athletics

LOGAN – Utah State continued to ride the hot hand of Ivory Finley, and Cheyenne Stubbs had a characteristic performance, but the Aggies could not keep up with Colorado State, which jumped at the opportunity to pummel the Aggies to fight its way above .500 in the MWC. Bolstered by a red-hot outing from the field, the Rams beat the Aggies thoroughly in the Spectrum, 90-68.

For Colorado State McKenna Hofshcild was as good as advertised and, as suspected, bounced back nicely from her nine-point game against Wyoming. The biggest help to Hofschild in her conquest was Marta Leimane, with Sanna Strom, Hannah Ronsiek and Sydney Mech each contributing a few blows to the beatdown as well. Utah State fell to 5-22 (2-14) with the loss, as Colorado State advanced to 17-9 (8-7).

After an attempt to storm out of the gates stalled out, Utah State was doubled up early. The Aggies scored seven points to Colorado State's four in the game's opening 3:30, picking up five quick points from Finley, but it didn't last. The Rams hit back with full force, rattling off a 15-0 run and taking a 19-7 lead. A pair of free throws from Samiana Suguturaga and a jumper from Stubbs rounded out the scoring for USU in the first quarter, while the Rams piled on another three points, leaving a 22-11 score after one frame.

Confident in the margin they had built, the Rams effectively sat on the lead through the second quarter. The Aggies trashed back to within five in the frame by way of a Finley three-pointer with 5:17 remaining, but Colorado State wouldn’t let them get any closer than that, claiming a 15-5 run in response – putting the Aggies back in their place and all but icing the game with a 46-31 lead and a little under two minutes to play in the frame. Utah State closed the half with four unanswered points, which was only enough to reestablish the 11-point margin set in the first quarter.

As Utah State stumbled in the third, Colorado State pounced, transforming that comfortable lead into a full-on blowout that ballooned to as many as 29 points behind yet another significant run, this one favoring the visitors by 17 points, 19-2. Really, the entire quarter could be considered a Colorado State run – the Rams won it 26-11, carrying a 72-46 edge into the fourth period. Though both sides took 17 shots from the field in the third quarter, Colorado State more than triples Utah State's production, knocking down 10 shots to just three from the Aggies.

The fourth quarter went the way many fourth quarters have gone for Utah State. One team had its bags packed, and the other was busy with damage control. The Aggies, once again, took advantage of an opponent that was ready to go home and won the quarter, 22-18. That 26-point edge fell to a final margin of 22 points, and Colorado State left having needed only 27:08 to put more points on the board (70) than Utah State could manage in 40.

Hofschild put together a curtain call fit for a conference record holder in her final trip to the Spectrum. She had 31 points, going 12 of 15 from the field and a perfect 5 of 5 from deep. She added five rebounds, five assists and a steal in a hair over 33 minutes.

Leimane, Hofschild’s main accomplice, posted a season-high of 24 points. To earn her new season record, she shot a blinding 12 of 17 from the field and used a 10-point second quarter to propel her offensive production. She also notched six rebounds and four assists without a single turnover. Leimane has been on a tear of late, scoring 22 and then 20 points in the games leading into this one.

Strom, Ronsiek and Mech all helped put the Aggies away, too. Strom had nine points, five rebounds, an assist and a steal; Ronsiek had eight points, eight rebounds, four assists and a steal; and Mech had six points, seven rebounds and an assist. That's a pretty good outing for a starting five – Colorado State's accrued 78 points, 31 rebounds, 15 assists and three steals with only six turnovers.

The Aggies, in their 22nd losing effort of the year, were led by Stubbs, Finley and Skye Miller. In yet another high-octane offensive showcase, Stubbs had 21 points and five rebounds. She was not particularly efficient in the contest, but got around to plenty of scoring nonetheless. She went 7 of 20 from the field, 3 of 11 from three, and 4 for 4 from the free-throw line.

Finley has been riding high. She followed her 11-point blitz in the win over San Jose State with a 19-point chaser while grabbing six boards, dishing out an assist and snatching a steal. Her 7-of-15 shooting performance (3 of 5 from three) is among the best she's logged all season. The 19 points she earned is her new season-high, eclipsing her 17-point night in Utah State’s first win of the season (on the road against Kansas City).

Looking to get back on track as she returns from injury, Miller popped off and had her best game since Utah State's loss to Northern Colorado on Dec. 16, when she had 15 points. She scored 14 in the loss to Colorado State while picking up three rebounds, an assist and a steal. Her continued effort to get back into the scoring rotation could be critical for the Aggies as they prepare to close out the year.

Utah State's next game is against Air Force, one of the weaker teams in the conference, in what should be a winnable game (or at least a competitive one). Looking to avoid last place, the Aggies will be looking to capitalize on that opportunity. When the teams met last, Miller watched as Utah State lost by six. Air Force is 13-16 (6-10) on the year.

Parker Ballantyne covers Utah State women's basketball for The Aggship. You can follow him on Twitter at @PShark14 for updates on the Aggies.