USU Women's Basketball Hits the Road to Face UTA and Louisiana Tech This Week
Jan. 22, 2013
LOGAN, Utah - TIP OFF - Utah State women's basketball (8-10, 5-2 WAC) hits the road after a very successful homestand that saw the Aggies come away with wins against New Mexico State (65-63) and Denver (85-69). This week, USU heads to the central time zone and the relative warmth of both Arlington, Texas and Ruston, La. The Aggies will face UT Arlington on Thursday, Jan. 24 at 6 p.m. (MT) and Louisiana Tech on Saturday, Jan. 26 at 6 p.m. (MT).
Utah State has won two-straight games and six of its last eight games, dating back to a win against South Dakota on Dec. 20. The Aggies will now play four of their next seven games on the road.
FRIENDLY CONFINES - With a 85-69 win against Denver on Jan. 19, Utah State improved to 5-2 at home this season and a perfect 4-0 in WAC games. At home games this season, USU out-scores its opponents 73.7 to 68.3. At the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, the Aggies double up their opponents in blocks with 4.7 bpg compared to 2.1 bpg by their opponents. Utah State also has played well defensively at home, averaging 11.4 spg, compared to 7.4. The Aggies have five more home games left during the regular season against Idaho, Seattle, San Jose State, Louisiana Tech and UT Arlington.
SCOUTING UT Arlington - This is the first-ever meeting between Utah State and UT Arlington. The Mavericks 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 Mavericks move to the Sun Belt Conference.
UT-Arlington is 3-14 overall and 1-6 in WAC play. The Mavericks have wins against Houston Baptist, North Texas and New Mexico State. UTA is in the midst of a season-high six-game losing streak. Last week, UT Arlington lost to both Seattle and Idaho on the road.
The Mavericks do not have any players averaging in double figures. UTA's leading scorer is Laila Suleiman, averaging 8.7 points and 3.4 rebounds per game. Malaika Green is second in scoring with 8.1 ppg and 1.9 rpg. UT Arlington scores 54.4 ppg, while allowing 71.4.
AGGIES VS UT ARLINGTON IN THE WAC
LIKE THIEVES IN THE NIGHT - The WAC has several teams among the nation's best in steals this season. Seattle is second in the nation behind North Carolina, averaging 14.1 steals per game, while Utah State is eighth with 13.2 spg. San Jose State is tied for 17th in the nation with 12.5. The three teams are the only ones in the WAC in double digits in steals per game. The Aggies are first in total steals with 237 this season.
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.
BACK ON TRACK - Senior guard Devyn Christensen is back on track with a 25- point performance in a win against Denver on Jan. 19. Christensen had couple sub-par performances, by her standards, with a season-low nine points against Seattle on Jan. 3. The senior averages 20.4 points per game to lead the team. She has a team-high 10 games with 20-plus points. The game against Seattle is the only time this season where she has not scored in double-figures.
GAME WINNER - Freshman guard Makenlee Williams' three pointer with one second left on the clock lifted Utah State over New Mexico State, 65-63, on Jan. 17. Williams continues to have a very strong rookie season, averaging 7.6 points per game. In WAC games, she scores 11.1 ppg. She has started 15 of 18 games this season and six of seven in league play.
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 7-0 this year. In four of USU's five 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.
STREAK STOPPED - Senior guard Jenna Johnson had her double-double streak halted at five after only bringing down eight boards in USU's win against Denver. She still leads the in double-doubles this season with seven. 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.
HELPING OUT THE TEAM - Jennifer Schlott had a career-high nine assists in USU's win against Denver. It was the seventh 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 Denver on Jan. 19. Schlott is still third in the WAC with 4.17 assists per game.
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 is still the only team in the WAC without a loss with a 7-0 record. Utah State stands alone in second place with a 5-2 record. Three teams are tied for third with 4-3 records, including UTSA, Louisiana Tech, Idaho and San Jose State. New Mexico State and Denver are tied for seventh with 3-5 records. Texas State and UT Arlington are tied for ninth with matching 1-6 league records.
DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN - Once Utah State finishes this trip with UT Arlington and Louisiana Tech, it will be half way done with the conference schedule. The Aggies will then play all nine teams again to complete 18-game schedule. USU will start all over again next week hosting both Idaho and Seattle. The Redhawks are one of two teams so far to beat the Aggies in WAC action along with San Jose State.
SCHLOTT EARNS HONORS - Utah State junior guard Jennifer Schlott was named Western Athletic Conference Women's Basketball Player of the Week for the week of Jan. 14-20.
She was also named the America First Credit Union Utah State Student-Athlete of the Week. This was Schlott's first WAC Player of the Week honor and second USU Student-Athlete of the Week award, having earned the award on Dec. 31.
The Mesa, Ariz., native helped Utah State to a 2-0 record last weekend with a pair of wins over New Mexico State (65-63) and Denver (85-69). Against NM State, Schlott scored 21 points and had a career-high-tying seven rebounds, to go along with seven assists and four steals. She also had the assist on Makenlee Williams' game-winning three-pointer with one second remaining in the game. Against Denver, Schlott scored 15 points and tied her career high with nine assists, while grabbing six rebounds. For the week, she averaged 18.0 points, 8.0 assists, 6.5 rebounds and 2.5 steals, while shooting 47.8 percent from the field (11-of-23) and 86.7 percent at the free throw line (13-of-15).
The Aggies have now won two-straight games and six of their last eight. For the season, Schlott is second on the team in scoring, averaging 14.0 points per game. She is now third in the league in assists, averaging 4.17 apg.
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 6-1 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 25 points performance against Denver on Jan. 19, she has 1275 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 78 points away from tying McGahan.
AGGIES IN THE NCAA STATS - In the most recent NCAA statistics release, senior guard Devyn Christensen is 19th in points per game (20.4 ppg). Christensen is sixth in the nation in free throw percentage (92.1 percent) and eighth in three-pointers made (3.17). Senior guard Jenna Johnson is now 18th in the country in steals per game (3.17 spg) after having four steals against New Mexico State on Jan. 17.
As a team, Utah State is up to third in the country in free throw percentage, shooting 79.9 percent from the charity stripe. USU is sixth in the country in steals (13.2 spg). Utah State is also 19th in scoring offense, averaging 74.1 ppg.
TOPS IN THE WAC - Devyn Christensen is now third in the WAC scoring, averaging 20.4 points per game. Jennifer Schlott is ninth, averaging 14.0 ppg, while Jenna Johnson is 10th in scoring with 13.9 ppg. Christensen, who broke the WAC's single-season record for free throw percentage last season, is first in this season, shooting 92.1 percent. She has only missed six of the 76 free throws that she has attempted. Freshman Makenlee Williams is first in the league in three-point free throw percentage, shooting 43.5 percent from beyond the arc. Johnson is third in steals, averaging 3.33 spg, while Christensen is tied for fourth with 2.67 spg. Jennifer Schlott is still third in assists with 4.17 apg.
As a team, USU is first in free throw percent (79.9 percent). The Aggies are second in blocked shots (4.00 bpg). Utah State has moved into first in scoring (74.1 ppg) and second field goal percentage (40.1 percent). Utah State is also second in steals (13.17).
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 1,275 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 18 games this season, Utah State has had seven 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. Yet another lineup was unveiled on Saturday, Jan. 19 when Schlott, Christensen, Williams and Thompson started.
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 237 steals this season which is the most by any team in the WAC so far this season. The Aggies have 67 more steals than their opponents this season as USU opponents have 170 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 - USU 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, 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 Dakota 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 - Utah State women's basketball shot a season-high 56.4 percent en route to an 85-69 win over Denver Saturday at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
This was the first meeting between the Aggies and the Pioneers. USU has now won two-straight games, improving to 8-10 overall and 5-2 Western Athletic Conference action. Denver falls to 8-11 overall and 3-5 in league play.
Four Aggies scored in double figures led by 25 points from senior guard Devyn Christensen, who also had three steals and two assists. Junior guard Jennifer Schlott was close to her first career double with 15 points and nine assists, which tied her career high. Senior Jenna Johnson had her double-double streak come to an end with five, as she had 15 points and eight boards. Sophomore forward Franny Vaaulu came off the bench, scoring 12.
The Pioneers were led by 18 points from Kailey Edwards and Michaela Neuhaus. Emiko Smith also added a team-high five assists.
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.