It was another close finish at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum for the Aggie women’s basketball team.
Utah State scored the final six points of the game to complete a sweep of Mountain West Conference foe Air Force on Saturday, 61-55. On Thursday the Aggies beat the Falcons, 70-66.
“This game meant a lot,” USU forward Bre Mathews said in a press release. “Coach has been saying that we need to get to .500, and we took that very seriously. We knew we’ve got to come out, we’ve got to play hard and we’ve got to be the tougher team. Our team is coming together every day.”
The Aggies (4-4, 2-1 MW) did just that. They will be looking to improve on that .500 record later this week at home.
Tied at 55-55 with 33 seconds to play, USU guard Faith Brantley hit a 3-pointer from the corner to give the Aggies the lead. The Aggies then proceeded to make three free throws in the final seconds and got defensive stops to complete the sweep of the Falcons (2-5, 0-2).
“Faith hit that three that iced the game, and that was such a huge shot for us,” USU head coach Kayla Ard said in a press release. “It wasn’t the shot we were looking for right there, but Air Force took away the shot that we were looking for, and the fact that she had the confidence to knock that down was just so huge. She’s worked so hard on her 3-point game and I love her confidence. I’m also so proud of Bre (Mathews). She fought through some things and played a lot of minutes this game. I know she was exhausted.”
Mathews led all Aggies in scoring and rebounding in what was her second career start. She finished with 15 points and a career-high nine rebounds, six of which were on the offensive end.
Jessica Chatman was the only other USU player to reach double digits in scoring with 11, and she also blocked three shots. Brantley had four assists.
The Falcons were led by junior forward Riley Snyder, who finished the game with 18 points —16 of which came in the first half.
As a team, USU shot 37.9 percent from the field, 28.6 percent (6 of 21) from 3-point range and 57.9 percent (11 of 19) from the free throw line. Air Force shot 25.0 percent from the field, while shooting 26.9 percent (7 of 26) from the 3-point line and 69.6 percent (16 of 23) from the charity stripe.
Air Force’s 55 points scored were the fewest by a USU opponent this season, and the second-fewest in a game by the Falcons this year. Neither team ever led by more than eight points in the series.
Chatman leads the Aggies in scoring and rebounding this season with 13.0 points and 8.1 boards a game. Mathews is the only other USU player to average double figures in scoring with 12.2 an outing. Brantley paces the team in assists with 3.6 a contest.
The Aggies have matched their conference win total from a season ago just three games into league play. They will try and improve on that on Thursday when New Mexico (5-0, 2-0) visits the Spectrum for the first of two games. Tipoff Thursday is at 7 p.m. The Aggies and Lobos will play again on Saturday at 2 p.m.