Aggies Look to Break Two-game Losing Streak Against First-Place Nevada

Feb. 3, 2009

LOGAN, Utah - GAME #23

Utah State (10-12, 4-5 WAC) at Nevada (13-7, 7-0 WAC)
Sunday, Feb. 8, 3:00 p.m.  MT • Reno, Nev.
Lawlor Events Center (11,536)
Broadcast: KLGN 1390 AM

TIP OFF - Utah State looks to break a two-game losing streak against first-place Nevada on Sunday, Feb. 8 in Reno at 3 p.m. MT. This will not be an easy task as the Wolf Pack are undefeated in Western Athletic Conference action this season (7-0). Nevada defeated Utah State earlier this season in Logan, 56-49. In the loss to Fresno State on Feb. 1, USU got a career high from senor Shawnta Pope who scored 15 points with nine rebounds. Fellow seniors Ana Pares and Danyelle Snelgro lead the team in scoring. Pares is first averaging 15.4 points per game, while Snelgro averages 11.4 points per game.

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SCOUTING NEVADA - The University of Nevada women's basketball team overcame a poor shooting first half as Nevada beat San Jose State 61-50 Sunday afternoon behind double figures from Dellena Criner, Marissa Hammond and Cherlanda Franklin. With the win Nevada improved to 13-7 overall and 7-0 in WAC play while San Jose State fell to 2-19 and 1-7 in the WAC. Head coach Jane Albright became Nevada's winningest first-year head coach with the win. Albright passed Julie Hickey who recorded 12 wins (12-15 overall) during the 1982-83 season. Nevada also tied the second-longest win streak in program history at seven games. The 1997-98 team recorded a seven-game win streak. The longest win streak in program history is nine games recorded during the 1999-2000 season. Nevada has opened WAC play with a 7-0 record, its best-ever conference start. Its previous best start to conference play came in 1997-98, when the team was 5-0 in the Big West Conference. Since joining the WAC in the 2000-01 season, Nevada's best conference record is 10-6 in 2006-07. After falling to Fresno State on Feb.1, the Aggies next game is on Sunday on Feb. 8 against Nevada in Reno. Under first-year head coach Jane Albright, the Wolf Pack are off to their best start since joining the WAC for the 2000-01 season. In WAC meetings, Nevada holds a 6-2 record, including a 56-49 win in Logan earlier this season. Overall Nevada has a 6-4 advantage.

Nevada 64, USU 54 (in Reno)
Nevada 61, USU 57 (in Logan)

2006-07 USU 59, Nevada 44 (in Logan) Nevada 61, USU 49 (in Reno) Nevada 61, Utah State 60 (@ WAC Tournament in Las Cruces )

2007-08 Nevada 75, USU 55 (in Reno) USU 56, Nevada 48 (in Logan)

2008-09 Nevada 56, USU 49 (in Logan)

Overall Record: 2-6

SECOND TIME AROUND - In the loss to Hawai`i on Jan. 30, the Aggies reached the half way point of the conference season. With the 4-4 record, USU has its best WAC record eight games into WAC play. Last season, USU was 2-6 eight games into the season for a two win improvement from last year. After taking on Fresno State, the Aggies had played all eight teams. USU now begins the second time through the league taking on first-place Nevada for the second time. In the first meeting, the Wolf Pack stopped the Aggies 56-49.

SNELGRO AND JOHNSON TOPS IN THE WAC - Senior guard Danyelle Snelgro has passed fellow senior Dellena Criner of Nevada in steals, averaging 2.50 steals per game just ahead of Criner's 2.40 spg. She has a WAC-leading 55 steals. Junior forward Nicole Johnson is also tops in the league. After Johnson's four blocks in the loss to Fresno State. Johnson is first in the WAC, averaging 1.95 spg. Snelgro is also second in the WAC in assists per game, averaging 4.40 apg.

LOOKING TO REBOUND - Utah State is looking to rebound from its worst rebound performance of the season when USU was out rebounded 48-27 against Fresno State. The 21 rebound difference was the worst rebound difference of the season. The Aggies top rebound performance a 50 against Northern Arizona which included 20 offensive boards. USU brought down only eight offensive boards against the Bulldogs.

CHANGING IT UP - In the first 21 games of the season, the Aggies started the same five for every game. Danyelle Snelgro, Ana Pares, Alice Coddington, Lydia Whitehead and Nicole Johnson started the first 21 games for USU this season. In the 22nd game against Fresno State, head coach Raegan Pebley made a change. Freshman Chelsea Burns made her first start of the season, while Whitehead came off the bench.

STANDING ALONE IN SECOND - With a win against Hawai`i on Jan. 25, USU head coach Raegan Pebley earned her 52nd win at Utah State. Pebley now has 52 wins as Aggie head coach which places her second ahead of Cindy Perkins and just behind Fern Gardner (55) on the all-time win list.

GETTING TO THE LINE - In the last two games, Utah State has been to the free throw line six times. Against Fresno State, USU was 4-for-4 from the charity stripe, while the Aggies went 1-for-2 in the loss to Hawai`i. While in those two games, the Rainbow Wahine and the Bulldogs went to the line a combined 33 times.

SWATTING THE RECORD BOOKS - Several Aggies are forging their way into the Utah State record book, with 43 blocks this season, junior forward Nicole Johnson is already in the top 10 in the all-time single season list. She is now in fourth, passing Ali Marchant who had 38 blocks in the 2005 season. Johnson is only five steals from tying Jessica Freeman who had 48 blocks in both 2005 and 2006. With 55 steals and 92 assists, senior guard Danyelle Snelgro is nearing the top 10 in both categories. Junior forward Lydia Whitehead is also close to making the top 10 in blocks. Her 24 blocks this season is tied for ninth with Sharon Epps during the 1983 season.

LOOKING AT THE STANDINGS - With a 4-4 WAC record, Utah State stands sixth in the WAC standings. But they are close to the two teams tied at 4-3, defending WAC regular season champions, Boise State and Louisiana Tech. Nevada is still undefeated in WAC play (5-0). On Sunday Feb.1, Hawai`i travels to Idaho, while San Jose State visits Nevada.

LAST TIME OUT - A career-high from senior forward Shawnta Pope was not enough as Utah State dropped a, 68-59, decision to Fresno State in Fresno. The Aggies were out-rebounded 48-27 in the loss. The Aggies have now lost two-straight games after winning three consecutive. USU is 10-12 overall and 4-5 in the Western Athletic Conference, while the second-place Bulldogs are now 15-6 and 5-2 in league play. Sophomore guard Hayley Munro had a career-high 28 points to help the Bulldogs stop the Aggies. Munro was also the leader on the boards with nine. Both Bailey Amundsen and Jaleesa Ross scored a dozen points for Fresno State. Three different Utah State players scored in double figures with Pope leading the way with 15 points. Senior guards Danyelle Snelgro and Ana Pares both scored 10 points. This is the 13th-straight game that Pares has scored in double digits. On the boards, Pope was again the leader coming one rebound away from a double-double with nine boards. One of the differences in the game was the Bulldogs' 24-6 lead in second-chance points. The Aggies were also hurt by only making it to the free throw line four times. In the last two games, USU has only made it to the free throw line six times. The Bulldogs out-scored the Aggies 39-26 in the second half.

FOUR TIMES THE FUN - In the win against San Jose State, four different Aggies scored in double figures. It was the second time that four different players scored 10 or more points in a single game. Against New Mexico State, Lydia Whitehead, Ana Pares, Danyelle Snelgro and Chelsea Burns all scored in double figures. Against SJSU, Whitehead, Pares, Snelgro and sophomore Alice Coddington scored in double digits.

ON THE BOARDS - Utah State is 7-1 when out-rebounding its opponents. In the win against Southern Utah, the Aggies out-rebounded the Thunderbirds, 48-34, including a season-high 27 offensive rebounds. USU had 20 offensive rebounds in the win against Northern Arizona and 50 total. USU earned its sixth win when out-rebounding its opponents against Boise State on Jan. 17. In the win over the Broncos, USU had 17 offensive boards.

ON THE ROAD AGAIN - After a short one-game homestand, the road savvy Aggies hit the road for a three-game road trip, starting with Fresno State on Feb. 1. This trio of road games will be against some of the top teams in the league. USU began the treacherous road trip against second-place Fresno State. On Feb. 8, the Aggies will take on first-place and undefeated Nevada in Reno. The road trip will conclude with the defending champion Boise State Broncos in Boise on Feb. 20. Once USU returns home, the games do not get much easier as the Aggies will take on third-place Idaho in Logan on Feb. 22.

TOP THIEF - With a season-high five steals, senior guard Danyelle Snelgro tied all-time steal leader Margaret Johns (1980-83) with 175 steals. In the win against New Mexico State, Snelgro passed former teammate Taylor Richards (2005-08) who ended her storied Aggie career with 172 steals. She took sole possession of first place with her first steal against Louisiana Tech on Jan. 10. Snelgro now has 195 career steals and 55 this season.

WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS - The Aggies had a season-high 20 assists in the win against New Mexico State on Jan. 8. Danyelle Snelgro had a season-high nine assists, while sophomore Alice Coddington had six assists. Snelgro is now second all-time in assists with 295. Taylor Richards is the all-time assists leader with 371. Snelgro is second in the league in assists, averaging 4.18 apg. In WAC games, Snelgro is first in assists with 53 helps for an average of 5.89 apg.

AGGIES IN OPENERS- Utah State began its fourth season in the WAC on Jan. 5 with a loss at Idaho. This was the first year that USU will start WAC play on the road. It is also the first time that the Aggies begin with the Vandals of Idaho. In its first season, USU fell to San Jose State in Logan, 63-51, while losing to Boise State in 2006-07, 80-70. Last season, the Aggies earned their first WAC opener win with a 68-58 win over San Jose State. While this is the first WAC opener against Idaho, USU has opened conference play against the Vandals when both teams were in the Big West. Idaho defeated the Aggies to open the 2003-04 season with a loss to Idaho, 62-51. Since the reinstatement of the program in the 2003-04 season, the Aggies are 1-5 in conference openers.

Utah State in WAC Openers
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

UNLUCKY 13? - Senior guard Ana Pares continues her scoring barrage this season. With 10 points in the loss against Fresno State, she now has had 13-straight double-digit scoring games. The guard has had three 20-point games this season. Pares topped her career high in points when she scored 25 in a loss to Utah Valley on Jan. 3. Starting the season, her high was 10 points against Portland in 2006. To start this season, Pares scored 11 points once again against Portland for a new career high. This high would not stand long as the senior scored 18 points against Northern Arizona on Nov. 19.

SNELGRO REACHES CAREER HIGH AGAIN - Senior guard Danyelle Snelgro tied her career high with 19 points in the loss to Louisiana Tech on Jan. 10. She also scored 19 points as the Aggies defeated Weber State for the first time since 1984 on Dec. 22. Snelgro scored 19 points, 13 in the first half, en route to a 44-41 win over the Wildcats. Her previous high was 18 points at Utah Valley in 2006. Snelgro's point explosion helped the Aggies capture their second road win of the season.

NIFTY NIKKI - Junior Nicole Johnson is having a solid season. The forward is first in the WAC in blocks, averaging 1.95 blocks per game, just ahead of Louisiana Tech's Shanvia Dowdell and San Jose State's Shaunna Ridge. She is tied with New Mexico State's Nikie Holt. She now has 43 total blocks this season. She has already passed her block total from last season as Johnson ended the 2007-08 season with 22 blocks.

ENDURANCE AGGIES - Four of the Aggies' five starters are among the leaders in the WAC in minutes played. Ana Pares is now second behind Idaho's Charlotte Otero, averaging 37.64 minutes per game. Danyelle Snelgro is third in the WAC in minutes played, averaging 37.45. Nicole Johnson averages 31.64 mpg which places her 12th, while Alice Coddington rounds out the quartet of fit Aggies. Coddington averages 31.09 mpg, which places her tied for 14th in the WAC.

TURNING 21 - The 2008-09 season marks the 21st year of women's basketball at USU, and just the sixth 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 fourth season in the Western Athletic Conference after playing its first two seasons in the Big West Conference.

GAMETRACKER - Fans can follow Aggie home games through the USU web site at via GameTracker, a free service, which updates play-by-play and statistics throughout the game.

AGGIES ON THE RADIO/WEB - All Utah State home games can be heard on KLGN (1390 AM) in Logan with Evan Nyman calling the play-by-play and Ashley Rutledge providing color commentary for home games. They can also be heard on the web by going to the Utah State Athletics home page at

ADMISSION - Admission to Utah State's women's basketball games is $5 for adults, $1 for youth. Season tickets are also available $65 for adults and $10 for youth. 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

UTEP THANKSGIVING CLASSIC - Both Danyelle Snelgro and fellow guard Ana Pares were named to the UTEP Thanksgiving Classic all-tournament team as voted on by the tournament's four coaches. Hawk Jennifer Bender was named both Defensive and tournament Most Valuable Player.

COACH PEBLEY - Head coach Raegan Pebley is entering her sixth season as head coach at Utah State, which is the longest tenure in the program's history. Five games into last season, Pebley overtook the lead for the most games coached in Utah State history (116). She has now coached 162 games for the blue and white. Pebley now has 52 wins as Aggie head coach which places second ahead of Cindy Perkins in wins and just behind of Fern Gardner (55) on the all-time win list.

INTERNATIONAL FLAVOR - The Aggies are a very international team with players from five different countries, including Australia (Stacey Howard and Alice Coddington), Japan (Erika Guatavai), Canada (Zana Williams), Senegal (Banna Diop and Ndoumbe Diop) and the United States (10 players).

ON THE INTERNET - All of Utah State's home games are available to watch live through Utah State TV via the internet at USU fans can also listen to every game both home and away, via USU's web site.

Aggies Women's Basketball Announces Three Signing - Utah State women's basketball is proud to announce the signing of three student-athletes in the early period for the 2009-10 season, including guards Jenna Johnson, Ashley Mitchell and Devyn Christensen. Devyn Christensen is a native of Caldwell, Idaho and attends Vallivue High School, where she was the Idaho 5A Player of the Year last season. Vallivue is also the alma mater of Utah State-great Jenny Gross-Brown. Jenna Johnson is a 5-9, guard from Wasilla, Alaska. While averaging 17 points, 12 rebounds, and eight assists Jenna is the starting guard for Wasilla High School, the same basketball program Republican VP Candidate Sarah Palin played for in high school. Alaska has produced some recent outstanding women's basketball players such as Azella Perryman (Stanford, `07), Natalie Jones (Arizona, '06), Sylvia Bullock (Miami), and Telisa Rhea (Oregon State). Ashley Mitchell is a native of Long Beach, Calif., where she attends Long Beach Millikan High School. Mitchell, a 5-8 guard, averaged over 10 points, six rebounds, six assists, while shooting 54 percent from the field last season. Last January, the guard and her Millikan High School teammates defeated Long Beach Poly which was the top-ranked team in the country at the time. Millikan, under the guidance of head coach Lorene Morgan, was ranked as high as No. 13 in the country last year.

PLAY UP TOUR 2009 - The Western Athletic Conference Play Up Tour for women's basketball will be at Utah State this week. The Aggies are 1-2 this season in Play Up Tour games, defeating UH last week in Honolulu and losing to the Rainbow Wahine on Jan. 30. USU also fell to Fresno State on Feb. 1 WAC staff will be on site to distribute WAC giveaway items. Fans will also have the opportunity to sign up to win a WAC prize pack that includes WAC apparel and other WAC related items. All fans that enter the drawing will be eligible for the grand prize of a WAC Basketball Tournament package. The Play Up Tour is designed improve perceptions of the WAC and its members through national, local and regional touch-points. Collectively, the nine members of the WAC are committed to growing and improving both the league and themselves.

Sunday, Feb. 8 - Reno, Nev. Utah State at Nevada, 2 p.m. (PT)



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