Aggie Women's Basketball Hosts Denver on Saturday on Student Night
Jan. 18, 2013
LOGAN, Utah - TIP OFF - Utah State women's basketball (7-10, 4-2 WAC) returns to action on Saturday, Jan. 19 against Denver at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. On Thursday, Jan. 17, the Aggies won a thriller against New Mexico State, 65-63, on a Makenlee Williams three points with one second left. Denver (8-10, 3-4 WAC) has lost three-straight games, falling to San Jose State on Thursday, 68-67.
Saturday will also be Student Night at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. Free pizza will be given out to students, while it lasts. A student raffle sign-up will also be available prior to the game. Winners will be announced throughout the game.
STAYING ON A ROLL - Senior guard Jenna Johnson continued her stellar play of late with her fifth-straight double-double against New Mexico State. She now has seven 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 7.4 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 DENVER - This is the first-ever meeting between Utah State and Denver. The Pioneers are in their first season in the WAC. The teams will have one season in the WAC before the Aggies head to the Mountain West Conference, and the Pioneers move to the Summit League.
DU is 8-10 overall and 3-4 in conference action. The Pioneers have wins against Texas State, UTSA and UT-Arlington. Denver has losses to Louisiana Tech, Idaho, Seattle and San Jose State.
Morgan Van Riper-Rose is the only Denver player averaging in double figures, bringing down 14.2 points per game. She has started all 18 games for the Pioneers. Van Riper-Rose is eighth in the WAC in scoring. Emiko Smith is first in the league in assists with 6.00 helps per game. Denver scores 65.4 ppg, while allowing 67.1 ppg. In WAC only games, DU is first in rebound margin (+6.4).
AGGIES VS DENVER IN THE WAC
STEALING 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 184 career steals. She is just 32 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.
CHARITABLE STRIPE - Utah State has three players in the top five in the WAC in free throw percentage. Senior guard Devyn Christensen is first, shooting 91.7 percent, while junior guard Jennifer Schlott is second with a 86.7 percentage from the charity stripe. Senior guard Jenna Johnson is fifth, shooting 80.0 percentage. As a team, the Aggies are shooting 79.4 percent from the free throw line which is first in the WAC and fifth in the nation.
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 TO SHINE - Freshman guard Makenlee Williams continues to have a solid rookie campaign. In the last three games, she has scored 47 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 43.3 percent from beyond the arc. Williams is tied with senior guard Jenna Johnson for the season lead in rebounds with 12. She scored the game winning basket against New Mexico State on Jan. 17 with a three with one second left on the clock.
HELPING OUT THE TEAM - Jennifer Schlott had seven assists in USU's win against New Mexico State. It was the sixth time this season that she has had five or more assists in a game which leads the Aggies. Her season high is nine in a win against Texas State on Dec. 31. Schlott is up to third in the WAC with 3.88 assists per game.
MAGIC NUMBER - The Aggies continue to have a magic number this season which is 70. When keeping opponents to under 70 points, USU is a stellar 6-0 this year. In three of USU's four WAC wins this season, the Aggies have allowed under 70 points. Utah State is 1-10 when allowing more than 70 points with the one win coming in the Aggies' 91-85 win over Idaho on Jan. 5.
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)LOOKING AROUND THE LEAGUE - Seattle remains the hot team in the WAC with an undefeated 6-0 league record, heading into a battle with Louisiana Tech. Utah State is tied for second with the Lady Techsters with 4-2 records. UTSA, Idaho and San Jose State are all tied for fourth with 3-3 records. New Mexico State and Denver are tied for seventh at 3-4, while Texas State and UT Arlington are tied for ninth with 1-5 records.
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 1250 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 103 points away from tying McGahan.
AGGIES IN THE NCAA STATS - In the most recent NCAA statistics release, senior guard Devyn Christensen is 18th in points per game (20.1 ppg). Christensen is still fifth in the nation in free throw percentage (91.7 percent) and 12th in three-pointers made (3.06). Senior guard Jenna Johnson is still 14th in the country in steals per game (3.53 spg) after having four steals against New Mexico State on Jan. 17.
As a team, Utah State is fifth in the country in free throw percentage, shooting 79.4 percent from the charity stripe. USU is sixth in the country in steals (13.6 spg). Utah State is also 21st in scoring offense, averaging 73.4 ppg
TOPS IN THE WAC - Devyn Christensen is now third in the WAC scoring, averaging 20.1 points per game. Jennifer Schlott is 10th, averaging 13.9 ppg, while Jenna Schlott is 12th in scoring with 13.9ppg. 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 43.3 percent from beyond the arc. Johnson is second in steals, averaging 3.53 spg, while Christensen is fourth with 2.65 spg. Jennifer Schlott is still third in assists with 3.88 apg. As a team, USU is first in free throw percent (79.4 percent). The Aggies are second in blocked shots (3.88 bpg). Utah State has moved into first in scoring (73.4) ppg and second field goal percentage (39.3 percent). Utah State is also second in steals (13.59).
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 McGahan (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 17 games this season, Utah State has had six 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. Against New Mexico State on Jan. 17, the Aggies had another group of starters in Schlott, Christensen, Johnson, Nelson and Haylee Thompson. The start was the first of the season for Thompson.
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 231 steals this season which is the most by any team in the WAC so far this season. The Aggies have 69 more steals than their opponents this season as USU opponents have 162 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 - After the brief two game homestand, USU will hit 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, La. The Aggies then return home for three-straight home games against Idaho (Jan. 31), Seattle (Feb. 2) and San Jose State (Feb. 9). All three home game begin at 7 p.m. at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
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 - On a night where the USU women's basketball team made only two three-pointers, a trey by freshman guard Makenlee Williams gave Utah State a 65-63 win over New Mexico State Thursday at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
NM State's Sasha Weber made a layup with 1:19 left to give the crimson Aggies a 63-60 lead. With 49 seconds left sophomore forward Franny Vaaulu's layup cut the lead to 63-62. With seven seconds remaining, Stefanie Gilbreath missed the front end of a one-and-one and senior guard Cristal Turner grabbed the board. Williams then subbed into the game and made the game-winning shot.
With the win, Utah State improved to 7-10 overall and 4-2 in Western Athletic Conference action. New Mexico State falls to 9-8 overall and 3-4 in the WAC.
USU is now 6-0 when allowing less than 70 points.
Junior guard Jennifer Schlott had her fourth 20-point game of the season with 21 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. Senior guard Jenna Johnson had her fifth-straight double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. The Aggies had a season-low eight turnovers. Senior guard Devyn Christensen added 12 points and five assists. Vaaulu rounded out the quartet of Aggies in double figures with 11 points off the bench
New Mexico State's Stefanie Gilbreath led the crimson Aggies with 25 points and nine rebounds. NM State did win the rebound battle 41-39.
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.