USU Women's Basketball Hosts Third-Place Idaho Thursday on Faculty/Staff Appreciation Day
Jan. 29, 2013
LOGAN, Utah - TIP OFF - Utah State women's basketball (10-10, 7-2 WAC) returns home for a three-game homestand, beginning on Thursday, Jan. 31 against third-place Idaho (9-11, 6-3 WAC) at 7 p.m. The Aggies have completed the first round of games with Western Athletic Conference schools with a stellar 7-2 record. Utah State's overtime road win against Louisiana Tech was the Aggies fourth-straight for Utah State which is season high. USU will then face first-place Seattle (11-7, 8-1 WAC) on Saturday, Feb. 2 at 7 p.m.
Utah State has now won eight of its last 10 games, dating back to a win against South Dakota on Dec. 20. The Aggies have eight conference games remaining this season after the battle with the Vandals.
HERE WE GO AGAIN - After going 7-2 in the first half of conference action, Utah State will begin the second half of WAC play. The Aggies will be making their first-ever trips to Denver, Texas State and UTSA. USU will also be hosting UT Arlington for the first time.
CONQUERING ANOTHER MOUNTAIN - Senior guard Devyn Christensen is nearing another career Utah State record. The current all-time USU leader in three-point field goals attempted and free throw percentage is now nearing the record for free throws made. She has passed Ali Marchant (2003-06) who made 262. Her 287 made free throws is now second behind Ashlee Brown (2011-12) who made 289 in just two seasons in an Aggie uniform. Christensen needs only three more to break the record. The senior is currently first in the WAC and ninth in the nation, shooting 90.7 percent from the charity stripe.
SCOUTING IDAHO - Overall, Idaho holds an 11-12 overall series record against Utah State. The Aggies have the lead since both joined the WAC, 11-5, including an 91-85 win in Moscow on Jan. 5.
Since both teams joined the WAC for the 2005-06 season, the two teams have played three overtime games, including two in the 2008-09 campaign. Fourteen of the 16 games played between the two teams since 2005 have been decided by 10 points or less.
Idaho is now 9-11 overall and 6-3 in league play. Like the Aggies, the Vandals have come on of late, winning three straight games and five of their last six. Alyssa Charlston leads the team in scoring, averaging 14.3 ppg, while Christina Salvatore is second in scoring with 11.5 ppg. The Vandals are first in the WAC in three-point field goal percentage (34.6 percent).
AGGIES VS IDAHO IN THE WAC 2005-06 Idaho 54, USU 51 (in Moscow) USU 63, Idaho 53 (in Logan) 2006-07 USU 78, Idaho 70 (in Logan) USU 57, Idaho 53 (in Moscow) 2007-08 Idaho 70, USU 64 (OT) (in Moscow) Idaho 67, USU 55 (in Logan) 2008-09 Idaho 71, USU 63 (in Moscow) USU 70, Idaho 64 2OT (in Logan) USU 59, Idaho 58 OT (in Reno, Nev. @ the WAC Tournament) 2009-10 USU 57, Idaho 55 (in Moscow) Idaho 54, USU 53 (in Logan) 2010-11 USU 70, Idaho 64 (in Logan) USU 67, Idaho 51 (in Moscow) 2011-12 USU 78, Idaho 70 (in Moscow) USU 85, Idaho 63 (in Logan) 2012-13 USU 81, Idaho 85 (in Moscow) Overall Record: 11-5FEROCIOUS OFF THE BENCH - Sophomore forward Franny Vaaulu has been fantastic the last four games that she has been coming the off the bench for the Aggies. Since transitioning from a starting role to coming off the bench, Vaaulu has been second on the team in scoring the last four game, averaging 15.3 points per game. She is just behind Devyn Christensen who has averaged 16.5 ppg in the last four games. She has scored more points in each of the four games that she has come off the bench, including scoring 20 points in an overtime win against Louisiana Tech on Jan. 26. She has also had at least one block in that four-game span, including five against UT Arlington on Jan. 23.
EVEN STEVEN - During the Aggies four-game winning streak, the Aggies have had very even scoring as 10 different players have scored a point. Four different players have averaged in double figures during the four-game span, including Devyn Christensen (16.5 ppg), Franny Vaaulu (15.3 ppg), Jenna Johnson (15.0 ppg) and Jennifer Schlott (13.5 ppg).
LIKE THIEVES IN THE NIGHT - The WAC has several teams among the nation's best in steals this season. Utah State is fourth in the nation behind North Carolina, averaging 13.6 steals per game, while Seattle is fifth with 13.4 spg. San Jose State is tied for 12th 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 271 this season. USU tied a season high with 19 steals against UTA on Jan. 24.
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 193 career steals. She is just 23 steals from tying Danyelle Snelgro (216) 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.
BEST START - The Aggies 7-2 WAC start matches its best in the eight years that USU has been in the league. This is the second-straight season that Utah State has begun conference play with a 7-2 record. This season, the Aggies only losses were an overtime loss on the road to Seattle and another road loss to San Jose State.
WAC STARTS THROUGH NINE GAMES 2005-06 1-8 2006-07 4-5 2007-08 2-7 2008-09 4-5 2009-10 4-5 2010-11 6-3 2011-12 7-2 2012-13 7-2GAME 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 16 of 19 games this season and seven of eight in league play.
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.
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 3-10 when allowing more than 70 points with the wins on the road against Idaho (91-85) on Jan. 5, UT Arlington (93-83) on Jan. 24 and Louisiana Tech (76-75) on Jan. 26.
MAKING A U-TURN - Utah State has managed to turn the season around during conference action. Despite still being out-rebounded, the Aggies lead their opponents in most categories in WAC play. USU has +3.9 scoring margin and a +3.7 turnover margin. From the field, the Aggies are shooting 40.5 percent (60-of-191), while their opponents are shooting 39.7 percent (60-of-197). USU averages 12.8 steals per game in WAC play compared to 8.9 spg by its opponents.
HELPING OUT THE TEAM - Jennifer Schlott had a career-high nine assists in USU's win against Denver. She has eight games this season with at least five assists which leads the team. Her season high is nine in a win against Denver on Jan. 19. Schlott is still third in the WAC with 4.20 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)AGGIES IN THE NCAA STATS - In the most recent NCAA statistics release, senior guard Devyn Christensen is 20th in points per game (19.8 ppg). Christensen is up to ninth in the nation in free throw percentage (90.7 percent) and 14h in three-pointers made (3.0). Senior guard Jenna Johnson is now 12th in the country in steals per game (3.45 spg) after having four steals against Louisiana Tech on Jan. 26. As a team, Utah State is still third in the country in free throw percentage, shooting 79.9 percent from the charity stripe. USU is up to fourth in the country in steals (13.6 spg). Utah State is also 15th in scoring offense, averaging 75.1 ppg.
TOPS IN THE WAC - Devyn Christensen is still third in the WAC scoring, averaging 19.8 points per game. Jenna Johnson is eighth, averaging 14.1 ppg, while Jennifer Schlott is 11th 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 90.7 percent. She has only missed eight of the 78 free throws that she has attempted. Freshman Makenlee Williams is first in the league in three-point free throw percentage, shooting 44.3 percent from beyond the arc. Johnson is tied for second in steals, averaging 3.45 spg, while Christensen is fourth with 2.85 spg. Jennifer Schlott is still third in assists with 4.20 apg. Franny Vaaulu is second in field goal percent, shooting 56.9 percent from the field.
As a team, USU is first in free throw percent (79.9 percent). The Aggies are tied for second in blocked shots (3.95 bpg). Utah State is still first in scoring (75.1 ppg) and second field goal percentage (40.3 percent). Utah State is now first in steals (13.55 spg), passing Seattle who was first in the nation in steals earlier this season.
LOOKING AROUND THE LEAGUE - Seattle, the Aggies' Saturday opponent, is still in first place with a stellar 8-1 record. Utah State stands in second place with a 7-2 mark, while Idaho is third with a 6-3 record. Three teams, UTSA, Louisiana Tech and San Jose State are all tied for fourth with 5-4 league marks. Denver stands along in seventh with New Mexico holding down the eighth spot at 3-6. Texas State and UT Arlington are tied for ninth with 1-8 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 7-1 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 five of their nine WAC games. The only game they didn't have the lead was an overtime loss to Seattle on Jan. 3, San Jose State on Jan. 12 and Louisiana Tech on Jan. 26.
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 21-point performance against UT Arlington on Jan. 24, she has 1304 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 49 points away from tying McGahan.
CHANGING IT UP - In 20 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. This group has started four 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.
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 - The Aggies are 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. Following the trio of home games, USU returns to the road to take on Denver (on Feb. 14) and New Mexico State (Feb. 16).
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.
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 - With five seconds left in overtime, senior guard Jenna Johnson knocked in the game-winning shot to lead Utah State women's basketball over Louisiana Tech, 76-75, at the Thomas Assembly Center Saturday in Ruston, La.
With the win, Utah State evens out its record at 10-10 after starting the season 2-8. The Aggies improve to 7-2 in Western Athletic Conference action. With the overtime loss, Louisiana Tech falls to 9-10 overall and 5-4 in league play. USU has now won a season-high four-straight games.
The Aggies only had two players score in double figures led by sophomore forward Franny Vaaulu's 20 points. Vaaulu also had a career high six steals to go along with a team-leading eight rebounds. Johnson was second in scoring with 15 points and seven rebounds. Sophomore guard Elise Nelson was stellar off the bench for Utah State with eight points and six rebounds in 21 minutes of action.
Louisiana Tech's Brittany Lewis led all players with 21 points and 15 boards. After a slow first half, Whitney Frazier ended the game with 16 points and eight boards.
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.
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.