Jan. 9, 2013
LOGAN, Utah - TIP OFF - Utah State women's basketball (6-9) concludes its three-game Western Athletic Conference road trip this week with its travel partner, San Jose State, on Saturday, Jan. 12 at 3 p.m. (MT). The Aggies are now 6-9 overall and 3-1 in WAC play. USU has won four off its last five games after losing five-straight games. San Jose State is 4-11 overall this season and 1-3 in conference play. The Spartans have lost three-straight games.
Last week, the Aggies were 1-1 on the road. Utah State lost a hard-fought overtime battle with Seattle, 71-68, on Jan. 3 in Seattle. USU bounced back for a 91-85 win against Idaho on Jan. 5 in Moscow.
DOUBLE THREAT - Senior guard Jenna Johnson has helped the Aggies jump out to a 3-1 WAC start. Johnson has had three-straight doubles and four this season. She is one of three Aggies' to post double-doubles this season along with sophomore forward Franny Vaaulu and freshman guard Makenlee Williams. Johnson has scored in double figures in the last five games, and there is not coincidence that USU has gone 4-1 in those games. The senior is now averaging 13.9 points and 6.9 rebounds per game.
SCOUTING SAN JOSE STATE - Utah State holds a commanding 11-3 record against San Jose State since the Aggies joined the WAC for the 2005-06 season. Overall USU is 11-4 against SJSU with the first meeting taking place on Nov. 20, 1980 with the Spartans taking an 88-66 win. Utah State has won the last 10 meetings with the last SJSU win coming during the 2006-07 season, 65-57, in San Jose.
The Spartans are 4-11 this season and 1-3 in WAC action. San Jose State earned its lone WAC win against Texas State, 98-96, in San Marcos. The teams have one non-conference opponent in common with SJSU defeating Utah Valley (81-72) and USU falling to the Wolverines (78-62).
San Jose State has two player averaging in double figures this season in Ta'Rea Cunnigan (19.9 ppg) and Riana Byrd(10.1 ppg). In WAC games, Cunnigan is second in scoring, averaging 20.5 ppg just behind Texas State's Diamond Ford, who scores 22.5 ppg. As a team, the Spartans are first in the WAC in conference only WAC games in blocks with 5.25 bpg.
AGGIES VS SAN JOSE STATE IN THE WAC
2005-06 San Jose State 61, USU 53 (in Logan) San Jose State 70, USU 49 (in San Jose) 2006-07 USU 58, San Jose State 50, (in Logan) San Jose State 65, USU 57 (in San Jose) 2007-08 USU 68, San Jose State 58 (in Logan) USU 61, San Jose State 60, (in San Jose) 2008-09 USU 64, San Jose State 54 (in San Jose) USU 62, San Jose State 51 (in Logan) 2009-10 USU 65, San Jose State 54 (in Logan) USU 66, SJSU 46 (in San Jose) 2010-11 USU 72, San Jose State 57 (in Logan) USU 75, San Jose State 39 (in San Jose) 2011-12 USU 78, San Jose State 73 (in San Jose) USU 84, San Jose State 71 (in Logan)Overall Record: 11-3
AGGIES IN WAC OPENERS - Utah State is 5-3 in WAC 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)
WINNING THE FIRST HALF - Utah State has a solid record when out-scoring its opponents in the first 20 minutes of action. The Aggies are 5-1 when scoring more in the first half. The only game that Utah State lost when leading at half time was an overtime loss to UC Irvine on Dec. 18. USU was ahead 41-36 at halftime and lost in overtime, 71-70. The Aggies have been leading at halftime in three of their four WAC games. The only game they didn't have the lead was an overtime loss to Seattle on Jan. 3. USU trailed at halftime, 38-34, and lost the game 71-68.
CHRISTENSEN STANDS ALONE IN SECOND - Despite a season-low nine points in an overtime loss to Seattle on Jan. 3, senior guard Devyn Christensen is now sole possession of second place on the all-time Utah State scoring charts. After a 25 points performance against Idaho on Jan. 5, she has 1225 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 128 points away from tying McGahan.
JOHNSON JUMPS THE CHARTS - Senior guard Jenna Johnson is now fourth in the record book for total career steals. With four against Idaho on Jan. 5, Johnson passed Aggie-great Taylor Richards (2005-08) to hold fourth place all by herself with 173 takeaways. She is three steals away from passing Margaret Johns (1980-83) for third place. Johns ended her USU career with 175 steals. Alice Coddington (2007-11) is the all-time steals leader with 236.
AGGIES CLIMBING THE NCAA STATS - In the most recent NCAA statistics release, senior guard Devyn Christensen is 10th in points per game (21.1 ppg). Christensen is also up to second in the nation in free throw percentage (95.3 percent) and third in three-pointers made (3.47). Senior guard Jenna Johnson is 23rd in the country in steals per game (3.27 spg).
As a team, Utah State is second in the country in free throw percentage, shooting 81.0 percent from the charity stripe. USU is seventh in the country in steals (13.7 spg), while WAC foe, Seattle, leads the country, averaging 15.3 spg.
RED-HOT SCHLOTT - Junior guard Jennifer Schlott has been on fire as of late with nine-straight double-figure games. Her 32 point performance against Seattle was the most points scored in a game this season by an Aggie. She has scored in double figures in eight of the nine games that she has started this season. Overall, she has 10 double-digit scoring games this season.
TURNING IT UP IN CONFERENCE PLAY - Utah State made several improvement in WAC games compared to overall games. USU has a +7.3 scoring margin in WAC play versus -4.9 overall. The have cut the rebounding differential half. In WAC games, the Aggies' rebounding margin is -5.0 compared to -10.3 overall. USU is just as deadly from the charity stripe, shooting 86.2 percent in league play and 81.0 percent overall.
TOPS IN THE WAC - Devyn Christensen is alone again in first in the WAC scoring, averaging 21.1 points per game. Jenna Johnson is 11th, averaging 13.9 ppg. Jenifer Schlott is 13th in scoring with 13.3 ppg. Christensen, who broke the WAC's single-season record for free throw percentage last season, is first in this season, shooting 95.3 percent. She has only missed three of the 64 free throws that she has attempted. Johnson is third in steals, averaging 3.27 spg, while Christensen is fourth with 2.82 spg. Jennifer Schlott is still third in assists with 3.87 apg.
As a team, USU is first in free throw percent (81.0 percent). The Aggies are also second in blocked shots (4.13 bpg), in scoring, 73.5 ppg and field goal percentage (40.3 percent). Utah State also trails NCAA leader, Seattle, in steals with 13.67 spg.
BIG MACK ATTACK - Utah State freshman guard Makenlee Williams had her first double-double of the season in a win against Texas State on Dec. 31 with 14 points and 12 rebounds. She is one of only three Aggies to have double-doubles this season along with Franny Vaaulu and Jenna Johnson. Williams had a career-high 21 points in USU's road win against Idaho on Jan. 5. She has scored in double figures four times this season.
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 when USU defeated South Dakota on Dec. 20. 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.
CHANGING IT UP - In 15 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 seven 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.
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.
TAKING IT AWAY - Utah State has 205 steals this season which is the most by any team in the WAC so far this season. The Aggies have 61 more steals than their opponents this season as USU opponents have 144 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 - Seattle remains the only undefeated team in WAC play with a 3-0 record. New Mexico State, Denver and Utah State are all tied for second with 3-1 marks. Louisiana Tech holds fifth place alone with a 2-1 record. Four teams: Idaho, UT Arlington, UTSA and San Jose State hold 1-2 WAC records, while Texas State is the only team without a conference win, standing at 0-4.
WHAT'S NEXT - After closing out its three-game road trip at San Jose State on Jan. 12, Utah State returns home for brief two-game homestand. Utah State will host New Mexico State on Thursday, Jan. 17 at 7 p.m. The Aggies will then take on Denver on Saturday, Jan. 19 at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum at 7 p.m. USU then reaches the half-way point of conference
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 - Recovering from a pair of double-digit deficits, the Utah State women's basketball fought to a 91-85 win over Idaho at the Cowan Spectrum in Moscow on Saturday.
Four different Aggies scored in double figures led by 25 points from senior guard Devyn Christensen. Freshman guard Makenlee Williams had a stellar night with a career-high 21 points and seven rebounds. Senior guard Jenna Johnson had her third-straight double-double with 19 points and 10 boards. Senior guard Jennifer Schlott had her ninth game in double figures with 11 points.
Idaho got an amazing shooting night from Stacey Barr who made six threes for 23 points. Christina Salvatore also had six threes for 18 points.
With the win, Utah State improved to 6-9 overall and 3-1 in Western Athletic Conference action. Idaho falls to 4-10 overall and 1-2 in league play.
For the game Utah State was 31-of-65 from the field good for 47.7 percent which was a season high. The Aggies went 13-of-26 from three for 50.0 percent which was also a season high. The Aggies were once again solid from the free throw line, going 16-of-21 for (76.2 percent). The Vandals were 31-of-75 from the field, which was good for 41.3 percent. Idaho was 15-of-39 from three (38.5 percent) and 8-of-12 from the charity stripe (66.7 percent).
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.
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