Utah State Women's Basketball Returns Home To Face New Mexico State Thursday
Jan. 16, 2013
LOGAN, Utah - TIP OFF - Utah State women's basketball (6-10, 3-2 WAC) finally returns home after a three-game road trip. This week, USU hosts New Mexico State (9-7, 3-3 WAC) on Thursday, Jan. 17 at 7 p.m. Utah State will conclude the brief homestand against Denver on Saturday, Jan. 19 at 7 p.m. The Aggies concluded the road trip with a 1-2 record with a win against Idaho and losses to Seattle and San Jose State. Utah State will now play five of the next seven in the friendly confines of the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
Last week, the Aggies fell in their only game of the week, 103-80, against San Jose State in San Jose, Calif. Five different Aggies scored in double figures in the loss.
DOUBLE THE TROUBLE - Senior guard Jenna Johnson has had a very balanced attack lately. Johnson has had four-straight doubles and six 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 six games. The senior is now averaging 13.9 points and a team-leading 7.2 rebounds per game. Her 12 rebounds against San Jose State tied the season high with Williams who had 12 against Texas State on Dec. 31.
SCOUTING NEW MEXICO STATE -Utah State holds a 9-6 series lead since both teams joined the WAC for the 2005-06 season. Overall, New Mexico State leads the series 18-15. USU has won four-straight games against the crimson Aggies, dating back to 2010-11. Utah State is 1-0 against NMSU in the WAC Tournament.
The Aggies are 9-7 overall this season and 3-3 in league games this season. New Mexico State has lost its last two game at home against Seattle and Idaho. The Aggies have WAC wins against Louisiana Tech, UTSA and Texas State.
New Mexico State has two players averaging in double figures led by Stefanie Gilbreath, who scores 15.3 points and brings down 6.1 rebounds per game. Danesia Williamson is second on the team in scoring with 12.9 ppg. The crimson Aggies score 57.9 ppg, while allowing 59.4 ppg.
AGGIES VS NEW MEXICO STATE IN THE WAC 2005-06 NMSU 55, USU 48 (in Logan) USU 55, NMSU 45 (in Las Cruces) 2006-07 USU 68, NMSU 51 (in Las Cruces) USU 70, NMSU 67 OT (in Logan) 2007-08 NMSU 71, USU 58 (in Las Cruces) NMSU 78, USU 51 (in Logan) 2008-09 USU 72, NMSU 58 (in Logan) USU 69, NMSU 52 (in Las Cruces) 2009-10 NMSU 56, USU 55 (in Logan) NMSU 73, USU 54 (in Las Cruces) 2010-11 NMSU 75, USU 71 (in Las Cruces) USU 72, NMSU 61 (in Logan) USU 72, NMSU 67 (WAC Tournament in Las Vegas) 2011-12 USU 74, NMSU 56 (in Las Cruces) USU 57, NMSU 45 (in Logan) WAC Record 9-6STEALING HISTORY - Senior guard Jenna Johnson moved up to third in career steals with seven in the Aggies' loss to San Jose State on Jan. 12. She now has 180 career steals. She is just 36 steals from tying Danyelle Snelgro for second place. Former teammate Alice Coddington is the all-time leader in steals with 236. Johnson's eight steals against Montana State on Dec. 1 were the most by an Aggie this season.
NELSON HAS BREAKOUT GAME - Sophomore guard Elise Nelson was one of the few bright spots in Utah State's loss to San Jose State on Jan. 12. Nelson had her first double-digit scoring game of the season with 10 points. She also had a season-high nine rebounds in 20 minutes of playing time.
WILLIAMS CONTINUES SOLID FRESHMAN CAMPAIGN - Freshman guard Makenlee Williams continues to have a solid rookie campaign. In the last two games, she has scored 40 points, including a season-high 21 points in the Aggies' win against Idaho on Jan. 5. She is fourth on the team in scoring, averaging 7.6 points per game. The guard is first in the WAC in three-point field goal percentage, shooting 47.2 percent from beyond the arc. Williams is tied with senior guard Jenna Johnson for the season lead in rebounds with 12.
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)GET LOW - The key to the Aggies earning wins is in the amount of points allowed. Utah State has allowed over 90 points five times and is 0-5 in those games. When the Aggies score 80 or more points, their record improves to 2-2. When keeping opponents to under 70 points, USU is a stellar 5-0 this year.
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 - .Senior guard Devyn Christensen is now sole possession of second place on the all-time Utah State scoring charts. After a 13 points performance against San Jose State on Jan. 12, she has 1238 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 115 points away from tying McGahan. AGGIES IN THE NCAA STATS - In the most recent NCAA statistics release, senior guard Devyn Christensen is 14th in points per game (20.6 ppg). Christensen is fell to fifth in the nation in free throw percentage (91.7 percent) and seventh in three-pointers made (3.25). Senior guard Jenna Johnson is up to 14th in the country in steals per game (3.50 spg) after having seven steals against San Jose State on Jan. 12.
As a team, Utah State is second in the country in free throw percentage, shooting 79.8 percent from the charity stripe. USU is seventh in the country in steals (13.6 spg). Utah State is also 19th in scoring offense, averaging 73.9 ppg
RED-HOT SCHLOTT - Junior guard Jennifer Schlott has been on fire as of late with 10-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 nine of the 10 games that she has started this season. Overall, she has 11 double-digit scoring games this season.
LOOKING AROUND THE LEAGUE - Seattle remains the only undefeated team in WAC play with a 5-0 record. Louisiana Tech, Idaho and Utah State are all tied for second with 3-2 records. New Mexico State, UTSA and Denver are tied for fifth with 3-3 marks, while San Jose State is eighth at 2-3. UT Arlington (1-4) and Texas State (1-5) round out the league at ninth and tenth, respectively. USU has four games left in the first half of league play before starting to play all nine teams again.
TOPS IN THE WAC - Devyn Christensen is now second in the WAC scoring, averaging 20.6 points per game. Jenna Johnson is 11th, averaging 13.9 ppg. Jenifer Schlott is 13th in scoring with 13.5 ppg. Christensen, who broke the WAC's single-season record for free throw percentage last season, is first in this season, shooting 91.7 percent. She has only missed six of the 72 free throws that she has attempted. Freshman Makenlee Williams is first in the league in three-point free throw percentage, shooting 47.2 percent from beyond the arc. Johnson is tied for second in steals, averaging 3.50 spg, while Christensen is fourth with 2.69 spg. Jennifer Schlott is still third in assists with 3.69 apg.
As a team, USU is first in free throw percent (79.8 percent). The Aggies are also second in blocked shots (4.00 bpg), in scoring (73.1) ppg and field goal percentage (39.4 percent). Utah State is also second in steals (13.63).
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 16 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 eight 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 218 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 157 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.
WHAT'S NEXT - 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. USU then hits the road again to take on new WAC member, UT Arlington, on Thursday, Jan. 24. The Aggies conclude the road trip at Louisiana Tech on Saturday, Jan. 26 in Ruston.
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 - Despite five Aggies scoring in double figures, the Utah State women's basketball team suffered a 103-80 loss to San Jose at the Events Center in San Jose, Calif., on Saturday.
With the loss, Utah State falls to 6-10 overall and 3-2 in Western Athletic Conference play. San Jose State breaks a three-game losing streak and improves to 5-11 overall and 2-3 in league action. The Spartans broke a 10-game losing streak against USU and are now 11-4 against the Aggies. The 103 points scored by San Jose State tied a school record.
Senior guard Jenna Johnson was one of the five Aggies to score in double figures. She also had her fourth-straight double-double of the season and fifth of the year with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Freshman guard Makenlee Williams led Utah State with 19 points. Sophomore guard Elise Nelson had a season-high 10 points, while junior guard Jennifer Schlott added 16. Senior guard Devyn Christensen rounded out the group with 13 points.
Emily Schill had a career day against the Aggies with 36 points and 17 rebounds to go along with six assists and four steals. Riana Byrd added a double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds. Ta'Rea Cunnigan had 26 points to help the Spartans in the win.
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.