First-Place Utah State Women Host San Jose State on Play4Kay Day Saturday
Feb. 6, 2013
LOGAN, Utah - TIP OFF - Utah State women's basketball (12-10, 9-2 WAC) concludes a pivotal three-game homestand against San Jose State (9-13, 6-5 WAC) on Saturday, Feb. 9 at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum at 7 p.m. in the team's annual Play4Kay game in support of breast cancer awareness.
Fan wearing pink will get free admittance. The first 200 fans in attendance will receive a free Utah State women's basketball t-shirt. Utah State is 4-1 in Play4Kay games at home.
USU has now won six-straight games and 10 of its last 12 games, dating back to a win against South Dakota on Dec. 20. The Aggies last loss came against San Jose State on the road on Jan. 12, 103-80.
THE STREAK - The Aggies are in the midst of a season-high six game winning streak. The six-game winning streak from this season and last season are the longest since an eight-game winning streak during the 1975-76 season. Utah State's last loss came against the Aggies' next opponent, San Jose State, on Jan. 12, 103-80.
CLOSER AND CLOSER - Senior guard Devyn Christensen inches closer and closer to the all-time Utah State scoring record. After a 28-point performance against Seattle on Feb. 2, she has 1345 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 eight points away from tying McGahan.
SCOUTING SAN JOSE STATE - Utah State holds a solid 11-4 record against San Jose State since the Aggies joined the WAC for the 2005-06 season, but the Spartans won the last meeting in San Jose on Jan. 12. Overall USU is 11-5 against SJSU with the first meeting taking place on Nov. 20, 1980 with the Spartans taking an 88-66 win. Utah State has won 10 of the last 11 meetings.
The Spartans have gone 5-2 since their last meeting with Utah State. Overall, SJSU is 9-13 and 6-5 in WAC action. Last week, San Jose State split games with a win over Seattle and a loss to Idaho.
San Jose State has three players averaging in double figures this season in Ta'Rea Cunnigan (20.6 ppg), Riana Byrd (10.9 ppg) and Emily Schill (10.8 ppg). Cunnigan is second in the league in scoring, while Byrd is first in rebounding (10.0 rpg).
AGGIES VS SAN JOSE STATE IN THE WAC 2005-06 San Jose State 61, USU 53 (in Logan) San Jose State 70, USU 49 (in San Jose) 2006-07 USU 58, San Jose State 50, (in Logan) San Jose State 65, USU 57 (in San Jose) 2007-08 USU 68, San Jose State 58 (in Logan) USU 61, San Jose State 60, (in San Jose) 2008-09 USU 64, San Jose State 54 (in San Jose) USU 62, San Jose State 51 (in Logan) 2009-10 USU 65, San Jose State 54 (in Logan) USU 66, SJSU 46 (in San Jose) 2010-11 USU 72, San Jose State 57 (in Logan) USU 75, San Jose State 39 (in San Jose) 2011-12 USU 78, San Jose State 73 (in San Jose) USU 84, San Jose State 71 (in Logan) 2012-13 San Jose State 103, USU 80 (in San Jose) Overall Record: 11-4DEVYN DOES IT AGAIN - Senior guard Devyn Christensen broke yet another career Utah State record against Idaho on Jan. 31. The current all-time USU leader in three-point field goals attempted and free throw percentage is the record holder for free throws made. She passed Ashlee Brown (2011-12) who made 289 in just two seasons in an Aggie uniform. Christensen now has 298 career free throws. The senior is currently first in the WAC and seventh in the nation, shooting 91.8 percent from the charity stripe.
NOT ALWAYS FLASHY - Senior guard Jenna Johnson may not always be the flashiest player on the court, but she is always one of the most consistent. In 22 games this season, she has scored in double figures 18. She has had nine double-figure rebounds. She also has eight double-doubles this season, including five- straight from Dec. 31 to Jan. 17. The senior averages 14.0 points, 7.8 rebounds, 3.4 steals and 2.9 assists per game. Prior to this season, she averaged only 5.1 points and 2.5 rebounds per game.
DURING THE STREAK - Four different Aggies have averaged in double figures during Utah State's six game winning streak led by Devyn Christensen's 17.8 points per game. Jenna Johnson has scored 14.5 ppg with Franny Vaaulu adding 14.0 ppg and Jennifer Schlott scores 11.5 ppg. Utah State out-scores its opponents 77.8 ppg to 67.0 ppg. The Aggies three-point field goal defense has been stellar as teams have only shot 20.2 percent from three during the six-game winning streak. Defensively, USU has been strong as well forcing 19.5 turnovers and producing 13.2 steals per game.
A TALE OF TWO CITIES - With a 67-62 win against Seattle on Feb. 2, Utah State improved to 7-2 at home this season and a perfect 6-0 in WAC games. At home this season, USU out-scores its opponents 73.8 to 65.6. At the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, the Aggies double up their opponents in blocks with 5.3 bpg compared to 2.4 bpg by their opponents. On the road, Utah State allows 85.5 ppg, while scoring 76.6 ppg. Away from the Spectrum, the Aggies shoots 38.7 percent from the field, while their opponent's shoot 45.5 percent. At home, USU shoots 42.0 percent from the field, while its opponents shoot 34.2 percent.
AGGIES IN THE NCAA STATS - In the most recent NCAA statistics release, senior guard Devyn Christensen is 18th in points per game (19.9 ppg). Christensen moved up to seventh in the nation in free throw percentage (91.8 percent) and 11th in three-pointers made (3.09). Senior guard Jenna Johnson is now 12th in the country in steals per game (3.41 spg) after snagging two against Seattle on Feb. 2.
As a team, Utah State moved up to second in the country in free throw percentage, shooting 80.2 percent from the charity stripe. The only team better that the Aggies is one of USU's foes this season, Notre Dame (80.7 percent). USU is still third in the country in steals (13.5 spg). Utah State is also 14th in scoring offense, averaging 75.0 ppg.
NOTICING NELSON - Sophomore guard Elise Nelson has been an elusive spark off the bench for the Aggies this season. Against Seattle on Feb. 2, she had an assist, a steal and basket within in a minute. She may not be the tallest player on the court at 5-9, but she is a force on the boards, averaging 3.0 rebounds per game.
TURNING IT ON - In conference games, the Aggies have really turned on the heat offensively. Utah State has four players, averaging in double figures as USU averages 78.8 points per game. Devyn Christensen leads the way with 17.5 ppg, while Jenna Johnson nearly averaging a double-double with 15.5 ppg and 9.7 rpg. Jennifer Schlott scores 14.8 ppg, while Franny Vaaulu comes off the bench to score 10.4 ppg. Makenlee Williams is close behind, scoring 9.2 ppg in WAC games.
TAKING IT AWAY - There is a reason that Utah State is third in the nation in steals. Jenna Johnson is first in the WAC, averaging 3.41 steals per game. Devyn Christensen is fourth in swipes with 2.86 spg, and Franny Vaaulu is 10th in the league with 1.86 spg.
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 199 career steals. She is just 17 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.
HELPING OUT THE TEAM - Jennifer Schlott had a career-high nine assists in USU's win against Denver. She has nine 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 4.36 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 9-0 this year. In six of USU's nine WAC wins this season, the Aggies have allowed under 70 points. Utah State is 3-10 when allowing more than 70 points.
BEST START - The Aggies 9-2 WAC start is its best in the eight years that USU has been in the league. This is the first time that Utah State has begun conference play with a 9-2 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 11 games 2005-06 2-9 2006-07 6-5 2007-08 3-8 2008-09 6-5 2009-10 5-6 2010-11 7-4 2011-12 8-3 2012-13 9-2GAME 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.
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)TOPS IN THE WAC - Devyn Christensen is still third in the WAC scoring, averaging 19.9 points per game. Jenna Johnson is seventh, averaging 14.0 ppg, while Jennifer Schlott is 12th in scoring with 13.0 ppg. Christensen, who broke the WAC's single-season record for free throw percentage last season, is first in this season, shooting 91.8 percent. She has only missed eight of the 89 free throws that she has attempted. Freshman Makenlee Williams is first in the league in three-point free throw percentage, shooting 43.1 percent from beyond the arc. Johnson is tied first in the conference in steals, averaging 3.41 spg, while Christensen is fourth with 2.86 spg. Jennifer Schlott is still third in assists with 4.36 apg. Franny Vaaulu is second in field goal percent, shooting 56.2 percent from the field.
As a team, USU is first in free throw percent (80.2 percent). The Aggies are tied for second in blocked shots (4.27 bpg). Utah State is still first in scoring (75.0 ppg) and second field goal percentage (40.2 percent). Utah State is now first in steals (13.50 spg), passing Seattle who was first in the nation in steals earlier this season.
LOOKING AROUND THE LEAGUE - For the first time this season, Utah State stands alon in the top spot in the WAC with a 9-2 record, while Seattle is second with an 8-3 record. Idaho remains third with a 7-4 mark, while Louisiana Tech is fourth in the standings at 6-4. There is three-team race for fifth with UTSA, Denver and San Jose State holding 6-5 records. New Mexico State holds the eighth spot with a 308 record. Texas State (2-9) and UT Arlington round out the standings, holding the ninth and 10th spots, respectively.
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 8-1 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.
CHANGING IT UP - In 22 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 five 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 - After the game against San Jose State, the Aggies are set to hit the road for two games. Utah State will take on Denver on Thursday, Feb. 14 for a Valentines Day match up. USU will also face New Mexico State on Saturday, 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.
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 - Utah State women's basketball captured sole possession of first place in the Western Athletic Conference with a scrappy, 67-62, win over Seattle Saturday at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
The win was the Aggies' sixth straight which is the longest since last season when USU won six, which is a program record since the re-instatement. Utah State improves to 12-10 overall and 9-2 in the WAC. Seattle falls to 11-9 overall and 8-3 in league games, which is good for second place.
Senior guard Devyn Christensen led all scorers with 28 points to go along with four steals. With the 28 points, Christensen is just nine points away from breaking the Utah State scoring record. She now has 1,345 career points just eight points behind Jerrie McGahan (1977-80) who had 1,353 points as an Aggie.
Senior guard Jenna Johnson scored eight points and added a team-leading 13 rebounds. She also added four assists, two blocks and two steals. Junior guard Jennifer Schlott scored 13 points with four assists and four steals. The 10 blocks by the Aggies was a season high.
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.