Utah State women's basketball (5-19, 3-10 MW) continues its 2017-18 season this week with two Mountain West games as it hosts New Mexico (19-7, 7-6 MW) on Wednesday, Feb. 14, at 7 p.m., and plays at Nevada (11-12, 4-8 MW) on Saturday, Feb. 17, at 3 p.m. (MT).
All regular-season home and Mountain West games will continue to be broadcast as a USU Athletics Production on the Mountain West Network. Live stats and play-by-play information will be available through GameTracker, while updates will also be provided through the team's social media outlets. Utah State women's basketball games are also broadcast on the radio on 92.3 KBLU, with Jaden Johnson on the call. The games will be streamed on the air and online. Links to each option will be available online prior to every game.
Utah State will host its annual pink game in Wednesday's contest against New Mexico. All fans are encouraged to wear pink, and the first 100 people in attendance will receive a pink USU athletics T-shirt.
DATE NIGHT WITH THE AGGIES
With Wednesday's game being played on Valentine's Day, USU Athletics is offering a date night ticket and concessions package. For $8, fans will receive two tickets, as well as vouchers for two small popcorns and two small fountain drinks.
SCOUTING THE LOBOS
New Mexico opens the week of competition with a 19-7 overall record, going 7-6 in Mountain West play. The Lobos split their games last week, falling at Boise State (91-85) and defeating Air Force at home, 57-49.
New Mexico returned three starters and five total letterwinners to the floor this season, after going 15-15 overall and 10-8 in league play last season. Senior guard Cherise Beynon leads the Lobos and ranks second in the Mountain West in scoring, averaging 16.9 points per game. Junior center Jaisa Nunn is the top rebounder for the team and the conference, averaging 10.1 boards per game. As a team, New Mexico is averaging 82.7 points per game, while allowing 71.7 points from its opponents. The Lobos are shooting 42.9 percent (761-of-1773) from the floor, 36.2 percent (245-of-677) from the 3-point line and 75.4 percent (384-of-509) at the free throw line. Mike Bradbury is in his second season at the helm of the New Mexico program, where he has an overall record of 34-22.
The Lobos hold the lead in the all-time series with Utah State, 16-6, in games dating back to the 1974-75 season. New Mexico has won the last four contests in the series, with Utah State's last victory coming on Jan. 9, 2016. The teams met in Albuquerque just two weeks ago, with the Lobos taking the 80-47 win.
SCOUTING THE WOLF PACK
Nevada begins the week with an 11-12 overall record, including a 4-8 Mountain West ledger. The Wolf Pack is on a five-game losing streak, including a 77-75 loss at UNLV and a 75-72 loss at San Diego State last week.
Nevada returned seven letterwinners, including three starters, to the floor this season from a team that went 11-19 overall and 5-13 in conference play a year ago. Senior forward Teige Zeller leads the Wolf Pack on both ends of the floor, as she is averaging 13.7 points and 9.4 rebounds per game. Overall, Nevada is averaging 69.0 points per game, while allowing the same from its opponents. As a team, the Wolf Pack is shooting 41.2 percent (585-of-1421) from the field, 34.2 percent (113-of-330) from the 3-point line and 70.8 percent (303-of-428) from the free throw line. Amanda Levens is in her first season as the head coach at Nevada.
Longtime rivals, the series between Utah State and Nevada dates back to the 1979-80 season. The Aggies lead the series, 17-11. Utah State has won the last six contests against Nevada, sweeping the meetings in each of the last two seasons. Utah State hosted Nevada on Jan. 13, defeating the Wolf Pack, 79-57.
PLAYING NICE WITH NEVADA
Utah State has won six-straight games against Nevada, going back to Jan. 30, 2016. Over those six games, Utah State has averaged 71.3 points per game, holding Nevada to an average of 56.5 points per game. The Aggies consistently play well against the Wolf Pack, as five current players average nine or more points in the games. Junior center Deja Mason has recorded 15 blocks against Nevada in the six games in her career.
THE DAY OF LOVE
All-time, Utah State is 3-2 in games played on Valentine's Day. The last time the Aggies played on Feb. 14, they defeated Denver in a 92-89 overtime contest.
FINDING THE FIVE
Utah State has used the same starting lineup for five games in a row now, with that group making six total starts together. Eliza West, Victoria Price, Rachel Brewster, Shannon Dufficy and Hailey Bassett have started every game since the Jan. 24 contest at Air Force.
APPROACH THE BENCHMARK
Junior center Deja Mason is quickly approaching the all-time blocks record at Utah State. Mason currently has 130 blocks over her three seasons, which ranks second on the record list. Nicole Johnson (2007-10) holds the career block record with 133.
BASSETT TO THE BASKET
Sophomore guard/forward Hailey Bassett has led the Aggies in scoring through conference play, averaging 10.2 points per game. Bassett has scored in double figures in eight of the 13 Mountain West games. She had the best games of her career in this season's two games against Fresno State, scoring 22 and 18 points in each.
RAKING IN THE POINTS
Junior guard Rachel Brewster has passed the 900-career point mark, sitting with 944 points in her three-year career. Brewster is three points away from cracking into the Utah State all-time top-10 scoring record list. With one more season ahead of her, Brewster is on pace to become the 10th player in Utah State history to score at least 1,000 points.
DISHING OUT DIMES
Sophomore guard Eliza West has tied her career high of nine assists twice this season, doing so against Nevada (Jan. 13) and Fresno State (Jan. 27). With her nine against the Bulldogs, West secured a spot on the all-time record list, as she currently ranks ninth with 234 career assists.
RANKING FROM LONG-RANGE
Junior guard Rachel Brewster and sophomore guard Olivia West both rank on the top-10 record list for 3-point field goals made and attempted. Brewster has made 90 3-pointers in her career, the fourth-most of any USU player. West has hit 62 shots from behind the arc, ranking 10th. Brewster has attempted 313 3-point field goals to rank fourth, while West ranks 10th in the same category with 189 attempted shots.
OFF THE GLASS
Utah State recorded 49 rebounds in the home win over Fresno State, the most the team has had in a conference game this season. The team's season high came against Denver, when the Aggies tallied 51 rebounds. USU out-rebounded the Bulldogs by 15, its highest rebounding margin of the season.
THE WINNING TREND
Utah State's wins have all had several statistics in common. In all five of the team's victories, the Aggies have held the halftime lead, tallied more assists than the opposing team and shot better from the field than the opponent. Additionally, all five wins have been day games, while the team is 0-13 in games played at night.
RELYING ON THE STARTERS
Utah State's starting five have made the most significant impact on the floor this season. The Aggie starters have played 68.3 percent (3,295) of the minutes while scoring 71.3 percent (991) of the points and tallying 64.4 percent (523) of the team's rebounds.
BLOCK THEM OUT
Like she has done each year of her career, junior center Deja Mason leads the Aggies in the block column this season with 40. She now has 130 in her career, which ranks second all-time at Utah State and needs four more blocks to set the career record. Mason tallied 38 blocks as a freshman and 52 last season. Sophomore guard/forward Hailey Bassett is second on the team in blocks with 24. Mason and Bassett rank first and third, respectively, in the Mountain West in blocks per game. Additionally, Utah State leads all conference teams in blocks, averaging 4.3 per game, and has a conference-high 103 blocks on the season.
AGAINST THE MOUNTAIN WEST
Utah State has an 87-149 all-time record against current members of the Mountain West. In their fifth year as a member of the conference, the Aggies have gone 32-46 in Mountain West play. Utah State has winning records against Air Force (8-3), Nevada (17-11) and San José State (16-10).
Utah State will have its second bye of the Mountain West season next week, playing just one game. The Aggies will host Air Force (2-21, 2-10 MW) on Saturday, Feb. 24, at 2 p.m.
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