Aggie Women's Basketball Concludes Road Trip Against New Mexico State on ESPN3 Saturday
Feb. 15, 2013
LAS CRUCES, N.M. - TIP OFF - Utah State women's basketball (14-10, 11-2 WAC) concludes a brief two-game road trip against New Mexico State (10-14, 4-10) on Saturday, Feb. 16 at 6:30 p.m. in a game that will be televised on ESPN3. USU is looking for the series sweep with the crimson Aggies, defeating NMSU, 65-63, on Jan. 17 in Logan, which was the beginning of Utah State's eight-game winning streak.
USU vs. NMSU Notes
USU has now won 12 of its last 14 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 eight-game winning streak. The eight-straight games tied the 1975-76 team for the longest winning streak in school history. Utah State's last loss came against the Aggies' San Jose State, on Jan. 12, 103-80. Last season, USU longest winning streak last season was six games.
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 1,383 career points.
SCOUTING NEW MEXICO STATE - Overall New Mexico State holds an, 18-16, series lead over Utah State. Since both teams joined the WAC for the 2005-06 season, USU leads 10-6. The blue Aggies have won the last five games, including the last meeting in Logan on Jan. 17. Freshman guard Makenlee Williams nailed a three with one second on the clock to put USU over NMSU, 65-63.
New Mexico State is 10-14 overall this season and 4-10 in league contests. The Aggies snapped a nine-game losing streak with a dominating 90-70 win against San Jose State on Thursday. NMSU has WAC wins against Louisiana Tech, UTSA, Texas State and San Jose State. The crimson Aggies won their first three WAC games this season.
Stefanie Gilbreath continues to be New Mexico State's leading scorer, averaging 16.2 points per game with Danesia Williamson adding 11.6 ppg. As a team, NMSU scores 58.5 ppg, while allowing 61.6. In league, New Mexico State is third in scoring defense, allowing only 63.1 ppg.
AGGIES VS NEW MEXICO STATE IN THE WAC 2005-06 NMSU 55, USU 48 (in Logan) USU 55, NMSU 45 (in Las Cruces) 2006-07 USU 68, NMSU 51 (in Las Cruces) USU 70, NMSU 67 OT (in Logan) 2007-08 NMSU 71, USU 58 (in Las Cruces) NMSU 78, USU 51 (in Logan) 2008-09 USU 72, NMSU 58 (in Logan) USU 69, NMSU 52 (in Las Cruces) 2009-10 NMSU 56, USU 55 (in Logan) NMSU 73, USU 54 (in Las Cruces) 2010-11 NMSU 75, USU 71 (in Las Cruces) USU 72, NMSU 61 (in Logan) USU 72, NMSU 67 (WAC Tournament in Las Vegas) 2011-12 USU 74, NMSU 56 (in Las Cruces) USU 57, NMSU 45 (in Logan) 2012-13 USU 65, NMSU 63 (in Logan) WAC Record 10-6FREE BASKETBALL - With the double overtime win against Denver on Feb. 14, the Aggies have now played five overtime games this season. This was Utah State's first double overtime game since a 70-64 win against Idaho on Feb. 22, 2009 in Logan. USU improves to 4-1 in extra time. USU is 4-0 in overtime conference games this season. The five overtime games is the most since the 2008-09 squad played six overtime games. Last season, the Aggies did not have one overtime game.
BUZZER BEATERS - Utah State has had several close calls this season. The Aggies have had six games this season with one team taking the final lead with 10 seconds or less. Senior guard Devyn Christensen has had a hand in three of these games with game-winning shots against Prairie View A&M (Nov. 12), South Dakota (Dec. 20) and Denver (Feb. 14). Freshman guard Makenlee Williams added a buzzer beater to lift USU over New Mexico State on Jan. 17. Senior guard Jenna Johnson also had late-game heroics, helping the Aggies to an overtime road win over Louisiana Tech on Jan. 26. USU felt the other end of the buzzer beater against UC Irvine on Dec. 18.
INCREASING THE SCORING - In Utah State's last 10 games, the Aggies have scored 80 points or more in seven of those games. USU is 9-1 in than that 10-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 76.2 points per game. The next closest team is Texas State which scores 69.3 ppg. In conference only games, Utah State scores 80.5 ppg, while the second-place team, San Jose State, scores 70.8 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 4.54 blocks per game which is first in the WAC. The Aggies have a total of 109 blocks. Vaaulu is third the conference in blocks with 1.54 bpg.
RACKING UP THE WAC WINS - With an 11-2 conference record, Utah State is just one win away from breaking the school record for conference wins. The Aggies have currently tied last season's team with 11. 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.
WHAT'S LEFT - Following USU's game against New Mexico State, the Aggies will have four games left in the regular season. Utah State is 4-0 against those remaining teams this season. The Aggies face Louisiana Tech in Logan on Feb. 28, looking for their first home win against the Lady Techsters. USU will conclude the home portion of the WAC schedule, hosting UT Arlington on March 2. USU ends the regular season on the road, facing Texas State (March 7) and UTSA (March 9) before preparing for the WAC Tournament.
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 303 career free throws. The senior is currently first in the WAC and eighth in the nation, shooting 91.3 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 (19.8 ppg). Christensen is still eighth in the nation in free throw percentage (91.3 percent) and improved to sixth in three-pointers made (3.21). Senior guard Jenna Johnson is now 16th in the country in steals per game (3.25 spg).
As a team, Utah State is still second in the country in free throw percentage, shooting 79.6 percent from the charity stripe. The only team better that the Aggies is one of USU's foes this season, Notre Dame (79.1 percent). USU is dropped to fourth in the country in steals (13.2 spg). Utah State is up to ninth in scoring offense, averaging 76.2 ppg.
FABULOUS IN FEBRUARY - Utah State has begun the shortest month of the year 3-0. USU continues a strong stretch after ending January with a 6-2 mark.
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 202 career steals. She is just 14 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 up to second in the WAC scoring, averaging 19.8 points per game, behind Texas State's Diamond Ford (21.1 ppg). Jenna Johnson is seventh, averaging 14.4 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 91.3 percent. She has only missed nine of the 103 free throws that she has attempted. Freshman Makenlee Williams is first in the league in three-point free throw percentage, shooting 41.0 percent from beyond the arc. Johnson is third in the conference in steals, averaging 3.25 spg, while Christensen is fourth with 2.83 spg. Jennifer Schlott is still third in assists with 4.21 apg. Franny Vaaulu is second in field goal percent, shooting 55.2 percent from the field.
As a team, USU is first in free throw percent (79.6 percent). The Aggies are also first in blocked shots (4.54 bpg). Utah State is still first in scoring (76.2 ppg) and second field goal percentage (40.5 percent). Utah State is still first in steals (13.21 spg).
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 4-10 when allowing more than 70 points.
BEST START - The Aggies 11-2 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 11-2 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 12 games 2005-06 2-11 2006-07 7-6 2007-08 5-8 2008-09 8-5 2009-10 5-8 2010-11 9-4 2011-12 10-3 2012-13 11-2GAME 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.
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 an 11-2 record, just ahead of Seattle with a 11-3 mark. Idaho, which had a three-game winning streak snapped, stands alone in third with a 9-5 record. Louisiana Tech and UTSA are tied for fourth with 7-6 records.. San Jose State is even at 6-7 which places it in sixth, and Denver is seventh with a 6-8 mark. New Mexico State stands alone in eighth place with a 4-10 record, while Texas State and UT Arlington round out the standings with matching 3-10 marks.
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 seven of their 13 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 24 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, which has started two games. 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.
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 - In a game with 12 ties, a three by senior guard Devyn Christensen with two seconds left in double overtime helped Utah State women's basketball to its eighth-straight win, 92-89, over Denver Thursday. With the win, Utah State improves to 14-10 overall and 11-2 in conference play, which keeps the Aggies atop the Western Athletic Conference standings. Denver falls to 11-14 overall and 6-8 in league action. For the first time this season, three different players score at least 20 points for Utah State, led by a career-high 28 points from senior guard Jenna Johnson.
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.