First-Place USU Women's Basketball Travels to Denver on Thursday
Feb. 12, 2013
LOGAN, Utah - TIP OFF - Utah State women's basketball (13-10, 10-2 WAC) returns to the road to take on Denver (11-13, 6-7 WAC) in a Valentine's Day matchup on Thursday, Feb. 14 at 7 p.m. This is the Aggies' next to last road series of the regular season. USU will conclude the pair of road games against New Mexico State on Saturday, Feb. 16. at 6:30 p.m.
USU has now won seven-straight games and 11 of its last 13 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 seven-game winning streak. The seven-game winning streak is 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. Last season, USU had a six-game winning streak.
HISTORY IS MADE - Senior guard Devyn Christensen found another Utah State record to break. On her ninth point against San Jose State on Feb. 9, she became the Aggies' all-time scorer. Christensen's historic basket came off an assist from fellow senior guard Pualei Furtado, one of Furtado's three helpers on the night, and was three of Christensen's team-high 17 points. Christensen's three-pointer gave her 1,354 points, passing Jerrie McGahan (1977-80) with 1,353 points. Christensen now has 1,362 career points.
SCOUTING DENVER - The Jan. 19 meeting between the Aggies and Pioneers was the first-ever between the two teams with Utah State capturing the 85-69 win in Logan. This will be USU's first trip to Denver when the team's meet on Valentine's Day.
Denver is 11-13 overall this season and 6-7 in league contests. The Pioneers have lost two-straight games on the road to Seattle and Idaho. Prior to the losing streak, Denver had won three-straight games at home against New Mexico State, UTSA and Texas State. The Pioneers are 4-3 at home in WAC games.
DU continues to be led by Morgan Van Riper-Rose, who is the only player who averages in double figures, scoring 12.6 points per game. The Pioneers score 65.0 ppg, while allowing 66.4.
AGGIES VS DENVER IN THE WAC 2012-13 USU 85, Denver 69 (in Logan) Overall Record: 1-0SHOWING THE VALENTINE'S DAY LOVE - In Utah State's win over San Jose State, the Aggies were showing the love for each other. Four different players scored in double figure in Jennifer Schlott, Devyn Christensen, Makenlee Williams and Stephanie Bairstow. Eleven of the 12 active players different players scored in the game. The Aggies were also helping out each other in the game with 25 assists. Eight different players had a help in the 87-54 victory over the Spartans.
INCREASING THE SCORING - In Utah State's last nine games, the Aggies have scored 80 points or more in six of those games. USU is 8-1 in than that nine-game span. Utah State scored a season-high 93 points in a win over UT Arlington in Arlington on Jan. 23. The Aggies also broke the 90-point plateau with a 91-85 win over Idaho on Jan. 5. USU continues to lead the WAC in scoring with 75.5 points per game. The next closest team is Texas State which scores 69.3 ppg. In conference only games, Utah State scores 79.5 ppg, while the second-place team, San Jose State, scores 70.9 ppg.
BLOCK PARTY - In the Aggies dominating win over San Jose State on Feb. 9, they tied the school record for blocks in a game with 11. The 2013 USU squad tied the 2010 team that had 11 blocks against North Dakota State and San Jose State. Utah State had seven different players register a block led by three apiece from senior guard Jenna Johnson and sophomore forward Franny Vaaulu. For the season, USU averages 4.58 blocks per game which is second in the WAC behind Idaho (5.31 bpg). The Aggies have a total of 55 blocks. Vaaulu is third the conference in blocks with 1.43 bpg.
RACKING UP THE WAC WINS - With a 10-2 conference record, Utah State is just one win away from tying the school record for conference wins set by last season's squad. The 2010-11 squad previously held the record with 10 wins. The 2008-09 team had held a 9-7 record. The nine league wins in 2008-09 was the most for Utah State since joining the WAC in 2005-06.
DOWN THE STRETCH - Utah State now has only six conference games remaining during the regular season. USU is 6-0 against the remaining teams on the conference schedule, including Denver, New Mexico State, Louisiana Tech, UT Arlington, Texas State and UTSA. The Aggies were pushed to overtime by both the Lady Techsters and the Roadrunners.
DURING THE STREAK - Four different Aggies have averaged in double figures during Utah State's seven-game winning streak led by Devyn Christensen's 17.7 points per game. Jenna Johnson has scored 13.7 ppg with Franny Vaaulu adding 13.1 ppg and Jennifer Schlott scores 11.4 ppg. Utah State has out-scored its opponents 79.1 ppg to 65.1 ppg. The Aggies three-point field goal defense has been stellar as teams have only shot 20.5 percent from three during the seven-game winning streak. Defensively, USU has been strong as well forcing 19.4 turnovers and producing 12.9 steals per game.
TURNING THE TABLES - On Jan. 12, the Aggies suffered one of its worst losses of the season, 103-80, to San Jose State on the road. USU was out-rebounded 56-44 in that game. The Spartans' Emily Schill scored a career-high 36 points adding 18 rebounds. SJSU shot 44.4 percent from the field, while USU shot 29.9 percent. When the teams met again on Feb. 9 in Logan, its was a very different story. Utah State had its biggest winning margin, beating the Spartans by 33 points (87-54). Schill scored only six points for SJSU. The Aggies out-rebounds the Spartans, 66-36. USU shot 42.4 percent from the field, while San Jose State was held to 26.2 percent.
DEVYN 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.
AGGIES IN THE NCAA STATS - In the most recent NCAA statistics release, senior guard Devyn Christensen is 18th in points per game (19.7 ppg). Christensen moved up to fell to eighth in the nation in free throw percentage (91.8 percent) and improved to eighth in three-pointers made (3.17). Senior guard Jenna Johnson is now 15th in the country in steals per game (3.35 spg) after snagging two against San Jose State on Feb. 9.
As a team, Utah State is still second in the country in free throw percentage, shooting 79.9 percent from the charity stripe. The only team better that the Aggies is one of USU's foes this season, Notre Dame (80.1 percent). USU is still third in the country in steals (13.4 spg). Utah State is also 12th in scoring offense, averaging 75.5 ppg.
TAKING IT AWAY - There is a reason that Utah State is third in the nation in steals. Jenna Johnson is second in the WAC, averaging 3.35 steals per game. Devyn Christensen is fourth in swipes with 2.91 spg, and Franny Vaaulu is tied for 10th in the league with 1.83 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 201 career steals. She is just 15 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.
TOPS IN THE WAC - Devyn Christensen is still third in the WAC scoring, averaging 19.7 points per game. Jenna Johnson is eighth, averaging 13.8 ppg, while Jennifer Schlott is 11th in scoring with 12.9 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 97 free throws that she has attempted. Freshman Makenlee Williams is first in the league in three-point free throw percentage, shooting 41.6 percent from beyond the arc. Johnson is second in the conference in steals, averaging 3.43 spg, while Christensen is fourth with 2.91 spg. Jennifer Schlott is still third in assists with 4.35 apg. Franny Vaaulu is second in field goal percent, shooting 55.6 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
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 10-0 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 10-2 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 10-2 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 2-10 2006-07 6-6 2007-08 4-8 2008-09 7-5 2009-10 5-7 2010-11 8-4 2011-12 9-3 2012-13 10-2HELPING 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.
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 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)LOOKING AROUND THE LEAGUE - Utah State remains on top of the WAC standings with a 10-2 record, just ahead of Seattle with a 10-3 mark. Idaho, which has won three-straight games, stands alone in third with a 9-4 record. Louisiana Tech holds the fourth spot with a 7-5 record, while UTSA is fifth with a 7-6 record. San Jose State is even at 6-6 which places it in sixth, and Denver is seventh with a 6-7 mark. New Mexico State and Texas State are tied for eighth at 3-10 with UT Arlington rounding out the standings at 2-10.
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 9-1 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 23 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 six 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 will conclude their mini two-game road trip on the road against New Mexico State on Saturday, Feb. 16. Following the game with crimson Aggies, USU will host Louisiana Tech (Feb. 28) and UT Arlington (March 2) for its final two regular-season games of the season.
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 - With a three-pointer with 11:59 left in the first half, senior guard Devyn Christensen became the Utah State women's basketball program's all-time leading scorer, as the Aggies cruised to an 87-54 win over San Jose State Saturday at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. In Saturday's win, USU tied a school record with 11 blocked shots and also snared a season-high 66 rebounds.
The win keeps Utah State atop the Western Athletic Conference standings with a 10-2 league mark, improving to 13-10 overall with their seventh-straight win. San Jose State is now 9-14 overall and 6-6 in WAC action. Saturday's win was USU's 11th win in the last 12th meeting with SJSU, improving to 12-4 as WAC foes.
Three other Aggies netted double-digits, as freshman guard Makenlee Williams added 14 points while junior guard Jennifer Schlott and senior guard Christal Turner netted 11 points to tie her career-high. All 12 USU players in uniform saw action Saturday with a total of 11 players scoring, including junior center Tanja Steed getting her first action and points as an Aggie.
Senior guard Jenna Johnson added nine points while sophomore forward Franny Vaaulu tallied eight points to go with a team-high and career-best tying 10 rebounds, matching freshman guard Stephanie Bairstow, who pulled down a career-high, as USU collected a season-high 66 rebounds.
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.