USU Women's Basketball Closes Out January At New Mexico Wednesday
Jan. 27, 2014
LOGAN, Utah - - TIP OFF - Utah State women's basketball concludes the month of January with its fourth road game of the month. The Aggies travel to Albuquerque, N.M., to take on New Mexico on Wednesday, Jan. 29 at the Pit at 7 p.m. (MT). USU is looking for its third win of the month as Utah State is currently 2-5 in January. The Aggies are looking to snap a season-long five-game losing streak, against the Lobos on Wednesday before returning home to host Wyoming on Saturday, Feb. 1.
Overall, Utah State is 8-10 overall and 2-5 in conference games. New Mexico is 7-11 overall and 2-5 in league games. Like the Aggies, the Lobos are in the midst of a losing streak, losing their last four games.
THE OPPONENT - New Mexico holds a 9-3 overall series lead against Utah State. The last time that the two teams met was in 1987 when UNM defeated USU on Feb. 21, 1987, 99-44, in Logan. The Aggies and the Lobos met for the first time in Albuquerque on Feb. 8, 1975 when Utah State finished on top, 62-46. Like the Aggies, the Lobos won their first two Mountain West games against Wyoming and San José State. UNM has since lost four-straight against UNLV, Fresno State, Boise State and Colorado State. New Mexico has faced a tough schedule taking the top four teams in the conference.
Antiesha Brown leads the Lobos in scoring, averaging 12.9 points per game which is good for 13th in the MW. Sara Halasz is 25th in the league in scoring, averaging 10.8 ppg. Halasz is also eighth in the conference in rebounds, averaging 6.7 rpg. As a team, the Lobos are first in rebound margin (+5.4)
BROTHER BAIRSTOW - While the Aggies are in Albuquerque, sophomore guard Stephanie Bairstow will be missing family. New Mexico senior forward Cameron Bairstow is the brother of Stephanie. Blocking shots must be a family trait from the Brisbane, Australia natives, as part of good basketball skills, as Cameron is seventh in the men's MW stats in blocked shots at 1.4 blocks per game, while Stephanie is tied for 11th in the women's stats with 0.9 blocks per game. Cameron and Stephanie are two of seven Bairstow children of Ian and Penny Bairstow.
AROUND THE LEAGUE - Colorado State continues to lead the conference with a 6-1 Mountain West record. Fresno State is second in the MW standings with a 6-2 mark, while Boise State and UNLV are tied for third with 5-2 league records. Nevada and San Diego State are both 4-3, which places them tied for fifth. Utah State and New Mexico are tied for eighth with 2-5 records so far this season. Air Force is the only team in the conference looking for its first league win with an 0-7 record.
FRESHMAN FINDS THE STARTING LINEUP - Freshman guard Lynette Johnson made her first career start against San Diego State on Jan. 25. She made the most of her start, scoring a career-high nine points in the loss. Her previous career high was five points in a win against Loyola Marymount on Nov. 13. She has also seen increased minutes in the last few weeks. She played a career-high 25 minutes against the Aztecs, while playing 22 minutes against UNLV on Jan. 22.
SCHLOTT PILING ON THE POINTS - Senior guard Jennifer Schlott became the eighth member of the 1,000-point club at Utah State. Schlott, who already has 430 points this season, now has 1,185 points in her Aggie career. The last Aggie to join this club was Devyn Christensen who scored 1,551 in illustrious Utah State career. She is now in fourth all-time. She is seven points away from tying Brenda House (1978-81) for third place with 1,192 points.
Schlott is the only player in the Mountain West this season to surpass 400 points this season. The senior leads the conference in scoring, averaging 23.9 ppg. She has scored 430 points in 18 games so far this season. The 430 points ranks 12th on the USU single-game scoring list. Devyn Christensen holds the record with 643 last season.
STARTING LINEUPS - The Aggies have now had eight different starting lineups. The quintet of Jennifer Schlott, Elise Nelson, Makenlee Williams, Ingrida Strikas and Franny Vaaulu have started nine games which is the most of any lineup. Schlott, Nelson, Strikas, Vaaulu and Shelby Cloninger have started a trio of games. There are six lineups that have started one game this season. Nine different Aggies have started at least one game this season led by Schlott who has started all 18 games.
TURNING IT AROUND - USU looks to get back on track, snapping its season-long five-game losing streak. The last time Utah State lost four-straight conference games was during the 2009-10 season when the Aggies dropped five-straight Western Athletic Conference games. During that streak, Utah State lost to both Boise State and Nevada, which is also true of the Aggies' current streak.
The 2-5 conference start is Utah State's worst since starting 2-5 during the 2007-08 season. The Aggies ended that season with a 5-11 WAC record. BACK IN TIME - As Utah State continues its first season in the Mountain West, it is interesting to look back at the Aggies first season in both the Big West and the Western Athletic Conference. USU's first season the Big West was the 2003-04 season, which was the first season that women's basketball was re-instated. The Aggies ended that season 5-22 overall and 5-13 in conference action. Two seasons later, USU was beginning its first season in the WAC. During the 2005-06 season, the Aggies were 3-24 and 2-14 in league play.
LENDING A HELPING HAND - Junior forward Franny Vaaulu has shown great improvement from the charity stripe this season. Last season, Vaaulu shot 56.0 percent from the free throw line. This season, she is shooting a much-improved 82.5 percent, making 33-of-40. In league contests only, she is third behind Nevada's Terilyn Moe (92.7 percent), shooting 87.5 percent (14-of-16).
AGGIES IN THE NCAA RANKINGS - USU is now 14th in the NCAA statistics in steals, averaging 11.2 spg. Sacramento State leads the nation with 14.7 spg. The Aggies are have another stellar season from the charity stripe, standing 22nd in the nation (75.6 percent). The Aggies are also 22nd in scoring offense behind Oregon which leads the nation with an amazing 95.9 ppg.
Individually, senior guard Jennifer Schlott is seventh in the country in points per game (23.9 ppg). FIU's Jerica Coley leads the country in scoring, averaging 30.0 ppg. Junior guard Elise Nelson is 23rd in the nation in assist/turnover ratio (2.47).
NEARING HISTORY - Senior guard Jennifer Schlott moves up to fourth in the USU record books in career scoring with 1,185 points after scoring 25 against San Diego State on Jan. 25. She is now in fourth all-time. She is seven points away from tying Brenda House (1978-81) for third place with 1,192 points. With five assists against the Aztecs, Schlott is now just 13 away from tying Taylor Richards all-time assist record. Richards had 371 career assists.
Schlott is also second in career free throws made with 318. She is just one free throw away from tying another Aggie-great Devyn Christensen who made 319 free throws from 2010-2013.
SCHLOTT NAMED TO LEIBERMAN WATCH LIST - Senior guard Jennifer Schlott has been named to the Nancy Lierberman Award watch list, honoring the top point guard in the nation. The award is given by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
The award recognizes the top point guard in women's NCAA Division I college basketball. Candidates exhibit the floor leadership, play-making and ball-handling skills of Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman.
The Aggies' starting point guard has started every game this season and has scored in double figures in every game. She is first on the team and in the Mountain West in scoring, averaging 23.3 points per game, which is also eighth in the nation. She is also first in the MW in assists, averaging 6.6 apg, which is also 13th in the country.
The senior is the only player in the Beehive State and in the Mountain West Conference to be named to the watch list. Schlott has earned Mountain West Player of the Week honors twice this season, and recently joined the 1,000-point club.
Previous winners of the Nancy Lieberman Award include last year's recipient Skylar Diggins (Notre Dame), Sue Bird (Connecticut), Renee Montgomery (Connecticut), Diana Taurasi (Connecticut), Lindsey Harding (Duke), Courtney Vandersloot (Gonzaga), Temeka Johnson (LSU), Kristi Toliver(Maryland), Ivory Latta(North Carolina), and Andrea Riley (Oklahoma State).
MOVING UP THE MOUNTAIN - Utah State remains among the top of several Mountain West categories. USU is still first in scoring offense (79.2 ppg) and free throw percentage (75.6 percent). The Aggies are also first in assists (16.6 apg) and first in steals (11.2 spg) and turnover margin (+4.1). In conference games only, Utah State is first in scoring offense (74.7 bpg), blocks (5.0 bpg) and second in assists (16.9 apg).
Individually, senior guard Jennifer Schlott is still first in the MW in scoring, averaging 23.9 ppg. Due to her injury, sophomore guard Makenlee Williams has fallen out of the rankings, despite averaging 18.0 ppg. The Aggies have three players in the top 10 in the conference in steals per game led by junior guard Elise Nelson (2.9 spg) and Schlott (2.0 spg) who are first and third, respectively. Franny Vaaulu is 10th 1.7 spg. In league onlyu games, Schlott is still first, scoring 22.4 ppg in MW games. Nelso is first in steals (2.7 spg). Stephanie Bairstow is tied for fourth in blocks in MW games, averaging 1.3 bpg.
CONFERENCE OPENERS - The Aggies improved to 6-5 in conference openers since the re-instatement after USU's win against Air Force on Jan. 1. Utah State was 5-3 in Western Athletic Conference openers winning the last four at home against UTSA last 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. Utah State was 3-2 in WAC openers at home. USU was 0-2 in Big West openers, taking on Idaho in both games.
USU IN MW OPENERS (1-0) 2013-14 W, vs. Air Force, 88-78SCHLOTT BY THE NUMBERS - Senior guard Jennifer Schlott is the only player in Mountain West conference games to score 30 points with 31 against Boise State on Jan. 18. In Mountain West games, she is one of only six players to have a double-digit assist game this season. In league contests, she is the only player in the MW to have fivew 20+ games in league contests. Overall, she has 13 20-point contests.
SHATTERING RECORDS - Senior guard Jennifer Schlott did more than help the Aggies snap a two-game losing skid against UC Santa Barbara on Nov. 19. The guard shattered the school record for single-game scoring with 44 points against the Gauchos. She became the first USU player to break the 40-point mark. The previous school record was 38 points by Pat Montgomery against Weber State in 1979. She is the eighth men or women's basketball player to score at least 44 points. The last men's player to score 44 points was Aggie-great Jaycee Carroll against New Mexico State in 2007. Schlott's previous career-high was 37 points against Utah on Nov. 19. She is the only Aggie to have scored in double figures in all 18 games this season.
EVEN MORE ON 44 - Jennifer Schlott's 44 points is also among the best ever in the Mountain West. The 44 points scored is the second-most in Mountain West history as another Beehive State player Kalee Whipple of Utah scored 45 against TCU in 2010. Schlott's perfect 18-for-18 from the charity stripe also set records. The 18 made were the most ever in Mountain West history, as three different players made 17. She also joins one of many players to have a perfect free throw percentage (1.000).
Schlott's 44 points are tied for the sixth-most in the nation this season. Troy's Joanna Harden scored 52 points to lead the country, while Chelsea Douglas of Wake Forest and Baylor's Odyssey Sims both scored 48. UT Martin's Jasmine Newsome tied Schlott with 44 points earlier this season.
FINKBEINER REACHES A MILESTONE - With a win against San José State on Jan. 4, head coach Jerry Finkbeiner reached a milestone in his 25th season. Finkbeiner won his 500th career game against the Spartans. He now has an overall record of 500-265. He is the 48th winningest active NCAA Division I coach by winning percentage .654. By victories, Finkbeiner started the season 30th.
AGGIES ON THE RADIO/WEB - Most 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. There will be nine game that will only be heard through either www.UtahStateAggies.com or www.1390klgn.com but not on the radio.
SEASON OPENERS - This was the 11th season since Utah State women's basketball was re-instated for the 2003-04 season. The Aggies are 3-8 in season openers, falling to Utah Valley on the road last season, 78-62. The Aggies wins came against Wyoming to open the 2011-12 season and against Utah to begin the 2009-10 year and finally the win against Black Hills State, 103-46 this season.
BEING SOCIAL WITH THE AGGIES - Fans can follow USU women's basketball at twitter.com/USUwbb and Utah State athletics at twitter.com/USUAthletics. This season, Aggie fans can also find out what Utah State is up to on instagram at instagram.com/USUWBasketball and on facebook at facebook.com/USUWbb.
ON THE INTERNET - All of Utah State's home games are available to watch live through the Aggie Digital Network via the internet at www.UtahStateAggies.com. USU fans can also listen to every game both home and away, via USU's web site. This season the Aggies will be working in conjunction with the Mountain West Digital Network to stream all home games for free.
UP NEXT - The month of February begins at the friendly confines of the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum as the Aggies host the Cowgirls of Wyoming on Wednesday, Feb. 1 at 7 p.m. USU will then prepare for a two-game road swing at Nevada on Feb. 5 and at Boise State on Feb. 8.
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.
AGGIES PICKED SIXTH IN MW PRESEASON POLL - Utah State women's basketball was selected sixth in the Mountain West Women's Basketball Preseason Poll as voted on by a panel of the league's 11 head coaches and media. The poll was announced by the conference, prior to the league's media days at the conference office in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Fresno State, coached by former USU head coach Raegan Pebley, was picked to finish first in the conference with 238 points, including 17 first-place votes. The Bulldogs captured the 2013 Mountain West Tournament. Wyoming was tabbed second with 212 points, including four first-place votes, while the 2013 MW regular-season champion San Diego State was chosen third with 196 points and two first-place votes. New Mexico (185 points) and UNLV (170 points) were voted fourth and fifth, respectively with the Rebels taking the final two first-place votes. Utah State was picked sixth with 136 points, just ahead of Colorado State at seventh with 130 points. Boise State (96 points), San José State (76), Nevada (62) and Air Force round out the poll finishing eighth-11th respectively.
Wyoming junior Kayla Woodward was named the 2013-14 MW Preseason Player of the Year. Woodward, a forward, was a second-team all-Mountain West selection last season and was named to the 2013 MW all-Tournament Team. Woodward, the top returning scorer in the league, averaged 14.1 points per game in 2012-13. She is joined on the preseason team by Colorado State's Sam Martin, Fresno State's Taylor Thompson, San Diego State's Erimma Amarikwa, and San José State's Ta`Rea Cunnigan. San Diego State's Chloe Johnson was named Preseason Freshman of the Year, while San Diego State transfer Cierra Warren earned Preseason Newcomer of the Year honors.
LAST TIME OUT - Despite a strong second-half effort, the Utah State women's basketball team was not able to snap its losing streak, falling to San Diego State, 88-72, Saturday at Viejas Arena in San Diego.
With the loss, Utah State falls to 8-10 overall and 2-5 in Mountain West action. San Diego State improves to 7-10 overall and 4-3 in MW games. The loss was the Aggies' season-high fifth in a row. The five-straight conference losses are the most since USU lost five-straight during the 2009-10 season.
Senior guard Jennifer Schlott led all scorers with 25 points to go along with five assists. This was her 13th 20-point game of the season. Freshman guard Lynette Johnson, who started her first game, had a career-high nine points to go along with three boards. Junior guard Elise Nelson also added nine points and eight rebounds for the Aggies.
San Diego State had three players score in double figures led by 22 points from Deajanae Scurry. Cierra Warren added 20 points, while Ariell Bostick scored 18 points.
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.
Jerry Finkbeiner - Jerry Finkbeiner enters his second season as Utah State's ninth head women's basketball coach. Assistant coaches Micha Thompson and Stu Sells return for their second and third seasons, respectively. Crystal Robinson joins the team as the Aggies' third assistant coach, while Ebony Haliburton will be USU's Director of Basketball Operations.