Utah State Women's Basketball Travels to Seattle For Road WAC Opener Thursday.
Jan. 2, 2013
LOGAN, Utah - TIP OFF - Utah State women's basketball (5-8) hits the road for its Western Athletic Conference road opener on Thursday, Jan. 3 at Seattle at 8 p.m. (MT). This is the Redhawks first season in the WAC. USU will then travel to Moscow to take on Idaho on Saturday, Jan. 5 at 3 p.m. (MT). The Aggies concluded their four-game home stand with a 3-1 record with wins against South Dakota, UTSA and Texas State. This is the first time this season that the Aggies have won three-straight games.
This was the third time in the last four years that Utah State has started WAC play with a 2-0 record. Last season, the Aggies won their first two games with road wins at New Mexico State and Louisiana tech. During the 2009-10 season, USU defeated Louisiana Tech on the road and San Jose State at home.
STARTING WITH THE NEWBIES - Utah State's first three conference games this season are all against three of the WAC's five new schools. So far, the Aggies have already earned wins over UTSA and Texas State. USU still has games on the horizon against WAC newcomers UT Arlington, Denver along with Seattle this week.
DOUBLE TROUBLE - In USU's win against Texas State, both Makenlee Williams and Jenna Johnson recorded double-doubles. It was the first time this season that more than one Aggie reached double figures in points and rebounds. Williams ended the game with 14 points and a career-high 12 rebounds. Johnson had 19 points and a career-high 11 boards. The senior guard has had three double-doubles this season to lead the Aggies.
SCOUTING SEATTLE - This is the second meeting between the Redhawks and the Aggies. Seattle leads the series 1-0 with a win against the Aggies in 1980. So far this season, the Redhawks are 4-6 overall and 1-0 in WAC action. Both teams had tough overtime losses to UC Irvine this season. In its WAC opener, the Redhawks defeated Idaho on the road, 76-71. Seattle and Utah State are the only two undefeated teams remaining in the WAC.
The Redhawks are first in the WAC in field goal percentage, shooting 40.8 this season. SU is also first in the league in assists, averaging 15.10 assists per game. The Redhawks score 67.1 points per game, while allowing 66.8. Seattle is first in the nation in steals per game, averaging 15.8 spg.
Seattle has three players, averaging in double figures. Kacie Sowell leads the team in scoring, averaging 16.4 points per game with both Ashley Ward and Sylvia Shephard scoring 14.9 ppg.
AGGIES IN WAC OPENERS - Utah State is 5-3 in Western Athletic Conference openers winning the last four at home against UTSA this season and on the road against New Mexico State in 2011. In 2010, USU won at home against Boise State and in 2009, USU earned its first ever win against Louisiana Tech. This was the first time since USU joined the league that the Aggies faced a WAC newcomer to start the season. Utah State is now 3-2 in WAC openers at home.
USU IN WAC OPENERS (5-3) 2005-06 L, vs. San Jose State, 51-63 2006-07 L, vs. Boise State, 70-80 2007-08 W, vs. San Jose State, 68-58 2008-09 L, at Idaho, 63-71 2009-10 W, at Louisiana Tech, 69-66 2010-11 W, vs. Boise State, 69-57 2011-12 W, at New Mexico State, 74-56 2012-13 W, vs. UTSA, 79-66 (OT)CHRISTENSEN NEARING SECOND PLACE - With 19 points in the Aggies' win over Texas State on Dec. 31, senior guard Devyn Christensen is now one point from second place on the all-time Utah State career scoring charts with 1,191 points. She passed Aggie-great Taylor Richards (2005-08) who scored 1,138 points in her Utah State career last week. She is now one points away from tying Brenda House (1978-81) for second place with 1,192 points. Jerrie McGahan (1977-80) is the all-time scoring leader at USU with 1,353 points scored during her time at Utah State. Christensen is now 162 points away from tying McGahan.
CHANGING IT UP - In 13 games this season, Utah State has had five different starting lineups. The lineup of Jennifer Schlott, Devyn Christensen, Jenna Johnson, Makenlee Williams and Franny Vaaulu have started five games this season. Elise Nelson, Christensen, Johnson, Cristal Turner and Vaaulu have been the starters for two games. Stephanie Bairstow, Christensen, Johnson, Williams and Vaaulu have been the starters for a trio of games. The group of Nelson, Christensen, Johnson, Williams, Vaaulu and Schlott started one game, while Christensen, Johnson, Williams and Bairstow have been the combination of starters for two games.
FINDING THE MAGIC NUMBER - The Aggies seemed to have found their magic number. Utah State is 5-0 this season when allowing under 69 points. In both of USU's conference wins, the Aggies have kept their opponents under the magic number. UTSA scored 66, while Texas State scored 69. During USU's current three-game winning streak, the Aggies have not allowed over 69 points.
AGGIES SET SCHOOL RECORD - Against UTSA, Utah State set a school record, shooting 96 percent from the free throw line, making 24-of-25. The previous record was 95.6 against Colorado in 1980. In overtime, Utah State took control, making 12-of-13 free throws.
AGGIES CLIMBING THE NCAA STATS - In the fifth NCAA statistics release, senior guard Devyn Christensen is eighth in points per game (22.0 ppg). Christensen is also third in the nation in free throw percentage (94.5 percent) and three-pointers made (3.67). Senior guard Jenna Johnson is 16th in the country in steals per game (3.56 spg).
As a team, Utah State is second in the country in free throw percentage, shooting 80.6 percent from the charity stripe. USU is sixth in the country in steals (14.0 spg), while its next opponent Seattle leads the country, averaging 15.9 spg.
SHARP-SHOOTING SCHLOTT - Junior guard Jennifer Schlott has become an offensive force to be reckoned with of late. She has scored in double figures the last seven games, including scoring a career-high 26 points in a last second loss to UC Irvine on Dec. 18. She is one of three Aggies to average in double figures thru the first 12 games of the season. She is third in scoring behind senior guards Devyn Christensen (22.0 ppg) and Jenna Johnson (12.9 ppg). In Utah State's win against Texas State, Schlott had 11 points and a career-high nine assists.
REBOUNDING ON REBOUNDING - In Utah State's win against South Dakota, there was one very glaring statistics. The Aggies were out-rebounded, 63-26, which was its biggest rebound margin deficit of the season. The Aggies have been out-rebounded in 10 games this season. In USU's win against UTSA, the Aggies improved on that statistic. USU and UTSA were tied in rebounds with 26. The Aggies were led by 10 boards from sophomore forward Franny Vaaulu.
TOPS IN THE WAC - Devyn Christensen is tied for first in the WAC scoring, averaging 21.8 points per game. Jenna Johnson is 13th, averaging 13.4 ppg. Christensen, who broke the WAC's single-season record for free throw percentage, is first in this season, shooting 94.5 percent. She has only missed three of the 55 free throws that she has attempted. Johnson is third in steals, averaging 3.46 spg, while Christensen is fourth with 2.69 spg. Jennifer Schlott is now third in assists with 3.77 apg.
As a team, USU is first in free throw percent (80.9 percent) and second in blocked shots (4.31 bpg). The Aggies are second in scoring, 72.6 ppg and field goal percentage (40.2 percent).
COME FROM BEHIND - For the first time this season, Utah State came back from and won a game that it was trailing at half time. The Aggies had been 0-6 when trailing at the half. USU's first two wins of the season came when the Aggies entered the locker room at half time with a lead. USU is now 1-6 when trailing at half time.
CHRISTENSEN REACHES LANDMARK - In the game against PVAMU, Devyn Christensen became the seventh Aggie to break the 1,000-point plateau. She now has 1,191 points in her Utah State career, which places her second on the all-time scoring list. Utah State's all-time leader in scoring is Jerrie McGaham (1977-80) who scored 1,353 points as an Aggie. The last two to reach this plateau were Danyelle Snelgro (2006-09) with 1,043 and Taylor Richards (2005-08) with 1,138 points.
BIG MACK ATTACK - Utah State freshman Makenlee Williams has had two breakout games for the Aggies. The freshman, who has started 11of Utah State's 13 games this season, has scored in double figures two of the last three games. She scored 10 points in USU's home-opener loss to Montana State. Williams topped that with 15 points and a season-high six boards in the Aggies' four-point loss to BYU.
TAKING IT AWAY - Utah State has 168 steals this season which is the most by any team in the WAC so far this season. The Aggies have more than 50 more steals than their opponents this season as USU opponents have 115 steals this year.
HOME OPENERS - Utah State fell to 3-7 in home openers after its 71-65 loss to Montana State on Dec. 1. The Aggies home wins came against Weber State (2011), Utah (2009) and Idaho State (2006).
AGAINST THE BEEHIVE STATE - Since the re-instatement, the Aggies are now 15-16 against the Beehive State, including this season's losses to BYU, Utah Valley and Utah. The Aggies now gone winless against the state for just the third time in the last 10 years. In USU's first season back in 2003, the Aggies went 0-2 against the state with losses to Southern Utah and Weber State. The 2006-07 season was the only other season where the Aggies went winless against the state with losses to both Utah Valley and Weber State.
LOOKING AROUND THE LEAGUE - After the first week of WAC play Utah State (2-0) and Seattle (1-0) are the only two teams that are undefeated in league play. Six teams are tied with 1-1 records. Idaho and Texas State are the only two teams without wins as the Vandals are 0-1 and the Bobcats are 0-2.
WHAT'S NEXT - After ringing in the New Year against the Bobcats of Texas State in Logan on Dec. 31, Utah State will then hit the road to take on Seattle U on Thursday, Jan. 3 in Seattle and Idaho on Saturday, Jan. 5. One week later, the Aggies will travel to San Jose to face the Spartans on Saturday, Jan. 12.
FAREWELL - USU enters its eighth and final season in the WAC. Next season, the Aggies will be heading to the Mountain West Conference along with San Jose State. Last season, the Aggies finished third in WAC play with an 11-3 conference record which was its best finish since joining the league.
AGGIES ON SCHOOL DAY - Utah State improved to 4-0 when packing the house with local elementary and middle schoolers for School Day. With a win against South Daktota on Dec. 20, the Aggies are now 4-0 on School Day when local elementary and middle schools pack the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. In 2009, USU won the inaugural School Day game with a 58-46 win over North Dakota State. In 2010, edged South Dakota State, 60-57. Last season, USU improved to 3-0 on School Day with a 70-51 win over Northern Arizona.
BEING SOCIAL WITH THE AGGIES - Fans can follow USU women's basketball at http://twitter.com/USUwbb and Utah State athletics at http://twitter.com/USUAthletics. Fans can follow along with the games and keep up with what the Aggies are up to.
SEASON OPENERS - This is the 10th season since Utah State women's basketball was re-instated for the 2003-04 season. The Aggies are 2-8 in season openers after a 78-62 loss to Utah Valley on Nov. 12. Last season, USU started the season with a win last season at Wyoming, 62-56. USU's other season opening win came to begin the 2009-10 season against in-state rival Utah in Logan, 67-58.
FREAKY FRANNY - In the tough overtime loss to UC Riverside on Nov. 15, sophomore forward Franny Vaaulu had a breakout game for the Aggies. The Los Angeles native scored a team-high 24 points and added 10 rebounds for her first double-double of her USU career. She also played a career-high 34 minutes. Playing in front of a lot of family in the Golden State, Vaaulu banked in a three in the waning seconds that sent the game to regulation.
ADMISSION - Admission to Utah State's women's basketball games is $5 for adults, $1 for youth. A woman's sports pass is also available for $50. Contact the USU Athletics Ticket Office at (435) 797-0305 or at 1-888-U-STATE-1 (1-888-878-2831) for more information or visit the Utah State athletic web site at www.UtahStateAggies.com.
SILVER ANNIVERSARY - The 2012-13 season marks the 25th year of women's basketball at USU, and just the 10th since the program was restarted prior to the 2003-04 season. The women's hoops program at USU had been disbanded following the 1987 season due to budget cuts. USU is playing in its eighth season in the WAC after playing its first two seasons in the Big West Conference.
ALASKA - THE FINAL FRONTIER - The Aggies headed to the Final Frontier for the Great Alaska Shootout and returned with their first ever tournament win. With wins against Prairie View A&M and host Alaska Anchorage, Utah State captured the Great Alaska Shootout title. Senior guard Devyn Christensen was named MVP of the tournament, while sophomore forward Franny Vaaulu was also named to the all-tournament team. Vaaulu set the record for highest field goal percentage, shooting 81.8 (9-of-11).
AGGIES IN THE PRESEASON POLLS - Utah State women's basketball was selected first in both the Western Athletic Conference coaches' poll media poll. This is the first time that the Aggies have ever been picked first in a preseason poll. Last season, USU was second in the coaches' poll and third in the media poll. In 2010-11, the Aggies were picked seventh in both the coaches' and the media poll.
Senior guard Devyn Christensen became the second-straight Utah State women's basketball player to earn WAC Preseason Player of the Year honors when she was awarded the honor by both the coaches and the media. Last season, forward Ashlee Brown was named preseason all-WAC. Last season, Christensen was named to the second-team in the coaches' poll.
The league will have a new champion as Fresno State captured the regular season and tournament titles. The Aggies received 78 points in the WAC coaches' poll, including seven of the 10 first-place votes. Louisiana Tech was a close second with 75 points and the three remaining first-place votes. In its first season in the WAC, Denver was picked third with 55 points, while fellow newcomer Seattle U was fourth with 48 points. Idaho was just behind Seattle U in fifth place with 47 points. Texas State, another new team to the WAC, is sixth with 41 points, while San Jose State. Rounding out the coaches' poll is New Mexico State in eighth (27), and newcomers UTSA (26) and UT Arlington (17) in ninth and 10th, respectively. In the media poll, Utah State was voted first with 165 points, including nine first-place votes. Louisiana Tech was also second in the media poll with 145 overall points and four first-place votes. Six different teams earned at least one first-place points.
LAST TIME OUT - Both senior guard Jenna Johnson and freshman guard Makenlee Williams registered double-doubles as Utah State captured its third-straight win, 82-69, over Texas State Monday at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum to conclude the 2012 portion of the schedule.
With the win, the Aggies are the only team to start Western Athletic Conference action with a 2-0 record. USU improves to 5-8 overall. Texas State falls to 6-6 overall and 0-2 in WAC play.
AGGIES ON THE RADIO/WEB - All Utah State games can be heard on KLGN (1390 AM) in Logan with Craig Hislop in his second season as the voice of the Aggies. They can also be heard on the web by going to the Utah State Athletics home page at www.UtahStateAggies.com and clink on the "Listen Live" link in the right hand column.
GAMETRACKER - Fans can follow Aggie home games through the USU web site at www.UtahStateAggies.com via GameTracker, a free service, which updates play-by-play and statistics throughout the game.
ON THE INTERNET - All of Utah State's home games are available to watch live through Utah State TV via the internet at www.UtahStateAggies.com. USU fans can also listen to every game both home and away, via USU's web site.
THE NEWBIES - This season, Utah State welcomes nine newcomers, including four transfers, Kelsey Corcoran (Winthrop), Mariah Miles (Oral Roberts), Jasmine Porter (San Diego State) and Kali Roche (Utah Valley) that will have to sit out the 2012-13 season. Freshmen Makenlee Williams, Haylee Thompson, Stephanie Bairstow, junior Tanja Steed and senior Cristal Turner also join the Aggies this season and will be eligible to play in 2012-13.
AROUND THE COURT - News and Notes from around the Aggie basketball court.
Christensen led the league in scoring in WAC games, averaging 20.6 points. She also set the Utah State single-season free throw percentage record (86.1).
Utah State ranked third in the nation in free throw percentage (79.6), fourth in three-point field goal percentage (38.4), 19th in field goal percentage (43.6), 21st in scoring (72.4).
Utah State welcomes nine newcomers, including four transfers that will have to sit out the 2012-13 season. Freshmen Makenlee Williams, Haylee Thompson and Stephanie Bairstow, junior Tanja Steed and senior Cristal Turner also join the Aggies this season and will be eligible to play in 2012-13.
Jerry Finkbeiner - Jerry Finkbeiner took the reigns as Utah State's ninth head women's basketball coach. Finkbeiner added assistant coaches Micha Thompspon and Robert Donaldson. Stu Sells enters his second season as an assistant at Utah State.