USU Women's Basketball Hosts Fresno State on Thursday
Jan. 17, 2012
LOGAN, Utah - TIP OFF - Utah State women's basketball is coming off a big road trip with wins at New Mexico State and Louisiana Tech. The Aggies (11-5, 2-0 WAC) have won six-straight games and will now take on the always-tough Bulldogs of Fresno State (13-4, 1-0 WAC). The Aggies are the only team in the league with two conference wins. USU will take on Fresno State on Thursday, Jan. 19 at 7 p.m. at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. Utah State will conclude the brief home stand against Nevada on Saturday, Jan. 21 at 7 p.m.
BEST START SINCE DISCO - The Aggies 11-5 start to the season is one of the best in school history. Utah State also began the 1975-76 season with an 11-5 mark. The 1974-75 Utah State team started the season with an impressive 14-2 record through the first 16 games of the season. The Aggies have been winning at home and on the road with a stellar 6-1 record in Logan and an impressive 5-4 record away from home. THE OPPONENT - Fresno State (13-4, 2-0 WAC) is 12-2 against Utah State in 14 meetings. Last season, the Bulldogs beat the Aggies twice in the regular season and won the battle in the semifinals of the WAC Tournament in Las Vegas. The last time that USU beat Fresno State was a 44-40 win in Logan in 2008.
In their last time out, the Bulldogs opened WAC action with a 85-67 win over Nevada on Jan. 14 in Fresno. The Bulldogs were led by their bench that out-scored the Wolf Pack bench, 45-19. Fresno State had four players in double-figures, including 18 points off the bench by Veronica Wilson.
Fresno State is first the league in scoring, averaging 74.6 points per game. The Bulldogs are also first in scoring margin (+7.6) and assists (17.18). KiKi Moore is first on the team averaging 16.5 ppg which is second in the WAC. Rosie Moult is second on the team in scoring with 12.8 ppg. Moult is first in the WAC in three pointers made with 46.
AGGIES VS FRESNO STATE IN THE WAC 2005-06 Fresno State 60, USU 58 (in Logan) Fresno State 70, USU 52 (in Fresno) 2006-07 USU 81, Fresno State 75, (in Logan) Fresno State 70, USU 61 (in Fresno) 2007-08 Fresno State 69, USU 52 (in Fresno) USU 44, Fresno State 40 (in Logan) 2008-09 Fresno State 68, USU 59 (in Fresno) Fresno State 67, USU 54 (in Logan) Fresno State 57, USU 54 (@ WAC Tournament in Reno) 2009-10 Fresno State 73, USU 46 (in Fresno) Fresno State 69, USU 63 (in Logan) 2010-11 Fresno State 79, USU 69 (in Logan) Fresno State 81, USU 63 (in Fresno) Fresno State 86, USU 76 (@ WAC Tournament in Las Vegas) Overall Record: 2-12DURING THE STREAK - During Utah State's six-game winning streak, the Aggies' have been averaging 71.8 points per game, compared to 52.8 ppg by their opponents. A key point during the streak is that USU has been out rebounding its opponents during the six-game stretch, averaging 38.0 rpg. The Aggie opponents have averaged 33.7 rpg. The Aggies have five different players averaging in double digits the last six games, led by Ashlee Brown scoring 13.2 ppg. As a team, USU is shooting 47.3 percent during the winning streak (155-of-328).
WINNING IN THE WAC - This is the third time in seven years that Utah State has won its first two conference games. In their second season in the league in 2007-08, the Aggies defeated San Jose State and Hawai`i at home to begin the season. During the 2009-10 season, USU defeated Louisiana on the road and San Jose State at home to start 2-0. Utah State has never started WAC play 3-0.
AGGIES IN WAC OPENERS - Utah State is now 4-3 in WAC openers winning the last three on the road at New Mexico State in 2012 and at Louisiana Tech in 2010 and at home against Boise State in 2011. This was the first time since USU joined the league that the Aggies of Utah State faced the Aggies of New Mexico State in a league opener. Utah State is now 2-1 in WAC openers on the road.
USU IN WAC OPENERS (4-3) 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, 74-56AGGIES IN THE NCAA STATS - In the most recent NCAA Statistics (Jan. 15), Utah State is still seventh in the nation in free-throw percentage, shooting 78.7 percent from the charity stripe. Delaware leads the nation, shooting 83.7 percent. The Aggies are 12th in the country in three-point field goal percentage (37.8 percent). Vanderbilt still leads the nation, shooting 43.2 percent from three.
In the latest RPI the Aggies are ranked 123 which is second in the WAC behind Fresno State which is 74.
PEBLEY REACHES A MILESTONE - USU head coach Raegan Pebley reached a milestone with her 100th career win against Louisiana Tech on Jan. 14. Pebley is in her ninth season at Utah State and is first in career wins for a women's basketball coach at USU.
REBOUNDING RENAISSANCE - After struggling on the boards early in the season, Utah State is now 6-0 when winning the rebound battle. In wins against, Utah Valley, Asbury, Boise State, Weber State, UC Irvine and Northern Arizona, the Aggies have out-rebounded their opponent. The win against Utah Valley was also the second time this season that USU has reached the 40-rebound mark. The Aggies had a season-high 47 rebounds.
AMONG THE BEST IN THE WAC - Ashlee Brown is still fourth in the WAC in scoring behind San Jose State's Brittany Johnson, Fresno State's Ki-Ki Moore and Nevada's Kate Kevorken. Johnson is averaging 19.3 points per game, while Brown averages 15.3 ppg. Brown is third in the league in rebounding with 8.8 rpg. Senior Maddy Plunkett is first in the league in three-point shooting (.521). Brooke Jackson is still first in free throw percentage (.867). Brown and Jackson are among the leaders in made free throws in the conference with Brown sinking 84 and Jackson making 52. Devyn Christensen is now still in the league in free throw percentage, shooting 84.6 percent.
As a team, USU is second behind Fresno State in scoring offense, averaging 70.4 points per game. The Aggies and the Bulldogs are the only two teams in the league with positive scoring margins with Fresno State standing +7.6 and USU holding a +6.9. The Aggies are still first in free throw percentage (78.7). USU is now first in field goal percentage, shooting 43.4 percent this season.
STREAKING THIS SEASON- The Aggies have been streaking of late, winning their last six games. It is the longest winning streak this season for USU as it won four-straight earlier this season. USU also has a one long negative streak, losing four-straight games to end November and begin December. Utah State is still undefeated in 2012 with four wins to begin the new year.
GIVING A HELPING HAND - For the third time this season sophomore guard Jennifer Schlott dished out five assists in a game in USU's win against New Mexico State on Jan. 12. One difference in this game was that the guard played only five minutes. She is first on the team in assists with 39 in 15 games so far this season.
AGAINST THE BEEHIVE STATE - Utah State ended non-conference play with a 2-1 record against teams from the Beehive State USU earned a 73-63 win against Weber State on Nov. 16. The Aggies then fell to BYU 73-65 on Dec. 17. USU improved to 2-1 against the state of Utah with a 61-43 win against Utah Valley on Jan. 7.
MASTER THIEF - Junior guard Jenna Johnson has been an incredible thief for USU the last six games. During that span, she has 17steals, including a career-high six against Utah Valley on Jan. 7. Johnson added five more in the Aggies' WAC-opening win against New Mexico State on Jan. 12. This season, the junior has 22 steals which is tied for second on the team with Devyn Christensen behind Ashlee Brown's 34 take aways.
CAREER HIGHS FOR THE HAWAIIANS - In the Aggies win against Asbury on Jan. 3, the two Hawaiians on the team Pualei Furtado and Kamie Imai had career-best performances. Imai had a career-high nine points, while Furtado added a career-high eight points. Imai also added a career-high five rebounds in the win. UP NEXT - After taking on Fresno State and Nevada at home this week, Utah State will embark on a three-game road trip, which is its longest WAC road trip of the season. Next week, the Aggies have only one game in Moscow, Idaho against Idaho on Saturday, Jan. 28 at 6:30 p.m. (MT). The following week, USU remains on the road to take on San Jose State on Thursday, Feb. 2 at 8 p.m. (MT) and Hawai`i on Saturday, Feb. 4 at 11 p.m. (MT).
AGAINST THE MOUNTAIN WEST - Utah State is now 3-0 against the Mountain West Conference. Wyoming was the first of two Mountain West Conference teams that the Aggies faced this season. The Aggies earned home and road wins against former WAC foes and current MWC rivals Boise State. USU defeated the Broncos, 97-86, in Logan on Nov. 23 and won in Boise, 64-52, on Dec. 22.
SINKING IT FROM THE STRIPE - Utah State continues to be stellar from the free throw line. The Aggies are still in the top 10 in the nation in free throw percentage, standing in seventh this week. USU has made more free throws (248) than its opponents have attempted (256). USU is first in the WAC, shooting 78.8 percent from the free throw line (256-of-325). The Aggies opponents are shooting 68.9 percent from the charity stripe (163-of-237).
BROWN EARNS HONOR - Utah State women's basketball player Ashlee Brown has been named the America First Credit Union Utah State Student-Athlete of the Week for the period ending Sunday, Jan. 15, an award that is voted on by a state-wide media panel.
This is the second-straight honor for an Aggie women's basketball player with senior guard Brooke Jackson earning the award last week.
A native of Chandler, Ariz., Brown led Utah State to a pair of road wins at New Mexico State (74-56) and Louisiana Tech (79-62) last weekend. In the win against NMSU, Brown scored 15 points to go along with seven rebounds, three assists and two blocks. In leading USU to its second-ever win against Louisiana Tech, Brown scored 17 points to go along with seven rebounds, a season-high tying four assists and one steal. For the week, Brown averaged 16.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists, while shooting 56.5 percent from the field (13-23) and 66.7 percent from the free throw line (6-9).
STARTING FIVE- In 16 games this season, Utah State has used five different lineups. Ashlee Brown is the only Aggie to have started all 16 games this season. Jenna Johnson has been in the starting give for 11 of USU's 16 games. Jennifer Schlott has started nine out of 16 games, while Brooke Jackson has been in the starting five eight times. Chelsea Burns started the first four games of the season until an injury ended her season. Freshman Elise Nelson earned her first career start against BYU on Dec. 17. Nine different players have started at least one game this season for USU.
BRINGING THE DEFENSE - Utah State is 6-0 when it opponents score under 60 points or less. The Aggies have wins against Wyoming, Northern Arizona, Boise State, Asbury, Utah Valley and New Mexico State. Utah State has allowed less than 56 points in its last five games all of which are USU wins.
AGGIES LOSE BURNS TO INJURY - Utah State women's basketball junior guard/forward Chelsea Burns has been medically disqualified due to a knee injury. The injury is similar to the one that kept her out of the entire 2009-10 season.
Burns, a native of Carlsbad, Calif, started the first four games of the season and played in five this season. She averaged 10.8 minutes. 0.8 points and 1.6 rebounds per game. The junior has been diagnosed with an osteochondral defect and a meniscus tear and will have knee surgery on December 15. Burns graduated at the end of the fall semester with a degree in law and constitutional studies and will begin her master's of education next semester.
HOME OPENERS - Utah State is now 8-14 in home openers and 3-6 under Coach Pebley after the Aggies defeated Weber State, 73-63 on Nov. 16.Prior to the win over the Wildcats, the last time the Aggies won a home opener was a 67-58 win against in-state rival Utah in 2009. Last season, USU fell to Dixie State in its home and season opener, 71-67. Under Coach Pebley, Utah State is 1-2 against Weber State in home openers.
LAST TIME OUT - Utah State head women's basketball coach Raegan Pebley captured her 100th career win as an Aggie with a dominating 79-62 road victory over Louisiana Tech in Ruston on Saturday. The win was Utah State's sixth-straight and its longest streak since winning six-straight games during the 2009-10 season.
With the win, the Aggies improve to 11-5 overall and 2-0 in Western Athletic Conference action. It is the third time in seven seasons in the league that USU has begun conference play 2-0. With the loss, Louisiana Tech falls to 8-9 overall and 1-1 in WAC action. The win against the Lady Techsters was just the second ever by USU with the last coming in Ruston, 69-66, on Jan. 6, 2010.
During the winning streak, the Aggies have only allowed over 56 points once.
Utah State was led by junior guard Devyn Christensen's season-high 20 points, scoring 17 in the first half alone. Senior forward Ashlee Brown added 17 points and seven rebounds for the Aggies, tying her season high with four assists. Senior guard Brooke Jackson also scored 17 points with 12 coming in the second half.
Louisiana Tech was led by 14 points from Whitney Frazier who also added a game-high eight boards, including five offensive rebounds. Whitney Jones added 13 points for the Lady Techsters.
CAREER HIGHS FROM BROWN - Senior forward Ashlee Brown has had double-doubles in both of Utah State's games this season. She also added a career-high 31 points in the Aggies' loss to South Dakota State on Nov. 13. She also set a career high with six steals in the loss to the Jackrabbits.
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.
TURNING 24 - The 2011-12 season marks the 24th year of women's basketball at USU, and just the ninth 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 seventh season in the WAC after playing its first two seasons in the Big West Conference.
AGGIES IN THE PRESEASON POLLS - Utah State women's basketball was selected second in the Western Athletic Conference coaches' poll and third in the media poll. Both predictions are the highest for USU since joining the WAC. Last season, the Aggies were picked seventh in both the coaches' and the media poll.
Senior forward Ashlee Brown made Utah State women's basketball history by becoming the first Aggie to earn WAC Preseason Player of the Year honors when she was awarded the honor by both the coaches and the media. Brown, who averaged 15.2 points per game last season, is the top scorer returning in the WAC. Last season, Brown was the WAC's Newcomer of the Year and earned first-team all-WAC honors.
The Aggies received 40 points in the WAC coaches' poll, including two of the eight first-place votes. Defending WAC regular season-champion, Louisiana Tech, was picked first with 47 points, including five-first place votes. Fresno State, the 2011 WAC Tournament champions, was picked third with 36 points and the final first-place vote. Nevada placed fourth with 33 points, followed by Hawai`i with 22 points. New Mexico State was picked to finish in sixth place with 18 points, while Idaho was just a point behind with 17 points to finish in seventh place. The coaches' poll was rounded out by San Jose State in eighth place with 11 points.
In the media poll, Utah State was voted third with 126 points, including three first-place votes. As with the coaches' poll, Louisiana Tech was picked first with 144 total points and 13 first-place votes. The only difference between the polls was that Fresno State took second-place in the media poll with 129 points and three first-place votes. Nevada earned the fourth spot with 80 points, followed by Hawai`i with 72. The media poll was rounded out with New Mexico State in sixth with 59 points, while Idaho (52 points) and San Jose State (22 points) were picked to finish seventh and eighth, respectively.
AGGIES ON THE RADIO/WEB - All Utah State games can be heard on KLGN (1390 AM) in Logan with Craig Hislop taking the reigns this season. 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.
HEAD COACH Raegan Pebley - Raegan Pebley is entering her ninth season as head coach at Utah State, which is the longest tenure in the program's history. Five games into the 2007-08 season, Pebley overtook the lead for the most games coached in Utah State history (116). She has now coached 250 games for the Blue and White and has 100 wins as Aggie head coach, which is first ahead of Fern Gardner (55) on the all-time win list.