Logan, Utah - With 15 points, senior Brittany Johnson set the San Jose State women's basketball single-season scoring and free throw records, but the Spartans came up short against the Utah State Aggies, 84-71 on Saturday night.
Johnson has scored 572 points this year, one better than Cricket Williams' 571 in 2002-03. Johnson's one free throw on the night gives her a total of 153, again, one better than Williams' 152 from 2002-03.
"It feels good to accomplish (those records)," Johnson said. "I have to thank the team. Tonight they helped me a lot. Honestly, I wouldn't have been able to achieve this (record) without their help all year. I'm sure what it means personally will sink in later, but right now we are disappointed with this loss. The good thing is that everyone starts over next week. We are all 0-0. Our focus is on winning our next game and advancing."
The Spartans scored the first point of the night when Sara Plavljanin stole the opening tip and drove for an uncontested layup. She would finish with a game-high 20 points on 7-of 17 shooting including 3-of-8 from behind the arc. The 2-0 lead would prove to be the Spartans largest and last of the night.
With the game tied 4-4, the Aggies (20-8, 11-3 WAC) went on a 13-0 spurt led by two 3-pointers from Devyn Christensen, who finished the game, like Plavljanin, with 20 points. San Jose State would get the lead down to five with 8:57 to go before the half, but Utah State took a 41-29 lead into the locker room.
"They were crowding me in the first half and our spacing wasn't good," said Johnson who scored 13 of her 15 points in the second half. "That made it a lot more difficult for me to get to the hoop and our offense to flow."
"We made a lot of errant passes in the first seven minutes and that was a big difference tonight," head coach Tim La Kose said. "We showed in both games this week that we can play at a high level, we just have to bring focused energy and play that way for 40 minutes good things will happen."
Trailing by 12 points opening the second half, San Jose State (11-18, 6-8 WAC) outscored the Aggies 14-to-3 to make it a one-point game with 14:14 to play. Ta'Rea Cunnigan led the run picking up seven of her 11 points on the night.
The teams battled back and forth for the next four minutes, before a Brooke Jackson trey gave the Aggies a five-point advantage 56-51 with 9:35 left. When Jackson hit another 3-pointer with 5:24 left Utah State had regained its double digit lead and cruised to the 84-71 win.
For the Spartans, Myesha Broaden had 14 points. Utah State had four players, in addition to Christensen, score in double figures. Ashlee Brown had 18, Jennifer Schlott and Jackson each had 15 points and Jenna Johnson added 12.
The Spartans next action will be in Las Vegas, Nev., in the WAC Basketball Tournament. San Jose State, the fifth seed, will face off against Idaho, the fourth seed in opening round action. Tipoff is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 7.