Aggie Women's Basketball Looks to Get Back on Track Against San Diego State Wednesday
Feb. 17, 2014
LOGAN, Utah - TIP OFF - After a brief one-game road trip, Utah State women's basketball returns home to take on San Diego State on Wednesday, Feb. 19 at 7 p.m., at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. The regular season is winding down with only five-regular season games remaining prior to the Aggies' first appearance in the Mountain West Tournament.
USU is in the midst of a four-game losing streak. It is the second-longest losing streak of the year for Utah State after dropping five-straight earlier in the season.
Overall, Utah State is 10-14 overall and 4-9 in Mountain West action. San Diego State is currently 9-13 overall and 6-6 in league play. The Aztecs snapped a two-game losing streak with a 77-66 win over Air Force in Colorado Springs on Saturday.
THE OPPONENT - San Diego State is 4-0 all-time against Utah State, including the 88-72 win over the Aggies on Jan. 25 in San Diego. In that game, Jennifer Schlott led the way with 25 points, while Elise Nelson added a team-high eight rebounds. SDSU was led by 22 points from Deajanae Scurry. Prior to the meeting earlier this season, the Aztecs and the Aggies last meeting was in 1983.
Cierra Warren is fifth in the Mountain West in scoring, averaging 14.8 points per game. She and Danesha Long are the only Aztecs to average in double figures with Long scoring 10.1 ppg. San Diego State excels on the boards as it is first in the Mountain West in rebound margin (+6.3). The Aztecs average 40.2 rebounds per game. In conference games, four different SDSU players average in double digits Warren (15.5 ppg), Arielle Bostick (12.6 ppg), Long (11.8 ppg) and Khristina Hunter (10.2 ppg).
DOUBLE-DIGIT WINS - With 10 wins so far this season, Utah State has won double-digit wins for six-straight seasons. Last season, USU advanced to postseason with an 18-14 overall record. During the 2011-12 season, the Aggies set the school-record with wins 21 wins. The 2010-11 season ended with Utah State holding an 18-15 record, while the Aggies were 13-17 during the 2009-10 season. The double-digit win streak began during the 2008-09 season when USU was 16-15.
WELCOME TO THE MOUNTAIN WEST - Senior guard Jennifer Schlott is just four points away from tying the Mountain West record for points scored during league play. Kim Smith of Utah currently holds the record with 327 scored in a 16-game conference season during the 2005-06 season. With five regular-season games remaining, Schlott already has 323 points, averaging 24.8 ppg. Schlott is one of just four other players in MW history to score over 300 points during Mountain West games, along with Smith, Wyoming's Aubrey Vandiver (2010-11) and UNLV's Kelli Thompson (2012-13). The senior is also on pace to break the scoring record in league contests, averaging 24.8 points per game. UNLV's Linda Fröhlich currently holds that record, averaging 21.1 ppg in 14 MW games. Schlott is just 59 points away from the overall Mountain West record for single-season points held by another player in the Beehive State Kim Smith who scored 655 points during the 2005-06 season.
REUNION IN FRESNO - When the Aggies' travel to Fresno to take on the Bulldogs on Feb. 22, it will be a reunion as USU will take on former Aggie head coach Raegan Pebley for the first time. Pebley was the winningest women's basketball coach in Utah State history with a 110-155 record. She spent nine seasons as the Aggies' head coach after the program was reinstated in 2003. Utah State reinstated women's basketball on March 5, 2002, after the program had been dropped following the 1987 season.
Assistant coaches Danyelle Snelgro and Hanna Howard will also be facing Utah State for the first time. Snelgro, who also played at USU from 2006-09, was among the Aggie career leaders in assists and steals.
TAKING A LOOK AT THE STANDINGS - Colorado State remains to stand tall as the top of the Mountain West Standings with a 12-1 overall league record. Boise State is in second place alone with a 9-3 record, while Wyoming is 8-4 which is good for third place. Fresno State and Nevada are tied fourth with 8-5 conference records. Utah State and San José State are tied for eighth with 4-9 league records. Air Force is the only Mountain West team without a conference with as it holds a 0-13 league mark.
BREAKOUT SEASON FOR NELSON - Junior guard Elise Nelson has had a breakout season on the offensive and defensive end of the court. With 110 assists this season, almost doubles her career assist total of 57. Her 110 assists is second on the team behind Jennifer Schlott's 145 and is ninth on the single-season list. Nelson's 63 steals this season are also more than the 50 her first two seasons combined.
SINGLE-SEASON RECORDS - With seven assists against UNLV on Feb. 15, Jennifer Schlott broke her own record of 144 which she achieved last season. She now has 145 assists this season, which is good for third in single-season assists. She is just five from tying Corrina Poto who had 150 assists in 1982. Schlott is now second in single-season points in a season with 596, passing Sharon Epps who scored 542 points in 1982. She needs 47 more points to tie Devyn Christensen's single-season record of 643 points set last season. Schlott is also on pace to break Christensen's single-season scoring average of 21.8 ppg as she currently averages 24.8 ppg.
LAST TIME AGAINST SAN DIEGO STATE - Despite a strong second-half effort, the Utah State women's basketball team was not able to snap its losing streak, falling to San Diego State, 88-72, at Viejas Arena in San Diego.
With the loss, Utah State falls to 8-10 overall and 2-5 in Mountain West action. San Diego State improves to 7-10 overall and 4-3 in MW games. The loss was the Aggies' season-high fifth in a row. The five-straight conference losses are the most since USU lost five-straight during the 2009-10 season.
Senior guard Jennifer Schlott led all scorers with 25 points to go along with five assists. This was her 13th 20-point game of the season. Freshman guard Lynette Johnson, who started her first game, had a career-high nine points to go along with three boards. Junior guard Elise Nelson also added nine points and eight rebounds for the Aggies.
San Diego State had three players score in double figures led by 22 points from Deajanae Scurry. Cierra Warren added 20 points, while Ariell Bostick scored 18 points.
TOURNEY TIME - As the calendar move to February, the Aggies inch closer to their first every Mountain West Tournament which will be held at Thomas & Mack Arena, hosted by UNLV March 10-15. Fresno State won the tournament last season, earning the MW's automatic bid. Las Vegas is a familiar city for the Aggies as the last three WAC Tournaments were held at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. Prior to that, USU played in two WAC Tournament held in Reno, Nev., so Utah State has played a conference tournament on the Silver State for the last five years. Seeds No. 6-No. 11 will begin the tournament on Monday, March 10. There will be four more games on Tuesday, March 11 before the women take two days off as the men's tournament begins. The women return to action on Friday, March 14 for the semifinals, followed by the finals on Saturday, March 15.
AGGIES AGAINST THE GOLDEN STATE - This will be the sixth game against a team from the Golden State this season. So far this season, USU is 4-1 against California schools. At home, USU defeated Loyola Marymount (100-58). On the road, the Aggies defeated Cal State Northridge (75-67), UC Santa Barbara (81-70) and San José State ( 78-65) and has a loss against San Diego State (88-72). USU still has home games against San Diego State a and
MAKING UP GROUND - With a 4-9 MW record, the Aggies have some ground to make up to improve its seeding in the upcoming Mountain West Tournament. The good news for Utah State is that the Aggies have already played the top two teams in the league, Colorado State and Boise State, twice. The Aggies will only take on fourth-place Fresno State once on Feb. 22 in Fresno.
THE 30-POINT CLUB - When senior guard Jennifer Schlott scored 38 points against Wyoming on Feb. 1, it was the most points scored in a MW game this season. She and San Diego State's Cierra Warren, Boise State's Miquelle Askew and Deanna Weaver are the only four players to reach the 30-point mark in league games. Schlott has had five in conference games and has had seven this season.
SCHLOTT BREAKS THE USU ASSIST RECORD - In the Aggies' loss to Boise State on Feb. 8, senior guard Jennifer Schlott broke Taylor Richards (2005-08) record for the all-time Utah State assists. Schlott broke the Utah State career assist record with a great pass to junior forward Franny Vaaulu with 4:05 left in the half, cutting the Boise State lead down to 35-16. She now has 389 career assists.
MAKING CHANGES TO THE STARTING LINEUP - The Aggies have now had 11 different starting lineups. The quintet of Jennifer Schlott, Elise Nelson, Makenlee Williams, Ingrida Strikas and Franny Vaaulu have started nine games which is the most of any lineup. Schlott, Nelson, Strikas, Vaaulu and Shelby Cloninger have started a trio of games. Schlott, The Aggies introduced a new starting lineup against UNLV when Schlott, Nelson, Wiliiams, Stephanie Bairstow and Tjiana Djukic. This was Djukic's first career start. Ten different Aggies have started at least one game this season led by Schlott who has started all 24 games.
UP NEXT - The Aggies will next take to the road to face a familiar face when USU take on Fresno State on Saturday, Feb. 22 at 3 p.m. (MT) in Fresno, Calif. Former Utah State head coach Reagan Pebley is now at the reigns of the Bulldog program and is in her second season. Following the trip to Fresno, USU will have back-to-back home games against New Mexico on Feb. 26 and San José State on March 1, before ending the regular season at Wyoming on March 4.
WINNING THE FIRST HALF - Utah State has shown that taking a lead into the locker room is crucial. The Aggies are 9-2 when leading at half time. USU is only 1-12 when trailing after the first 20 minutes. USU's only win when trailing at half time was against Utah on Nov. 19. The Aggies trailed the Utes 37-32 at the half.
MORE FRESH INK IN THE RECORD BOOK - In the Aggies' win against New Mexico on Jan. 29, Jennifer Schlott was clutch from the charity stripe, going 10-for-10, as she passed Devyn Christensen for the all-time USU leader in free throws made. After Schlott made 14-of-16 free throws against Wyoming, she has now hit 342 career free throws in her Aggie career. She scored the final 14 points of the game for the Aggies to secure the win.
SCHLOTT CREEPS UP THE CHARTS - Senior guard Jennifer Schlott became the eighth member of the 1,000-point club at Utah State. Schlott, who already has 596 points this season, now has 1,351 points in her Aggie career. The last Aggie to join this club was Devyn Christensen who scored 1,551 in illustrious Utah State career. Schlott is now in third all-time, passing Brenda House (1978-81) who was in third place with 1,192 points. Jerrie McGahan (1977-80) is second in all-time scoring with 1353 points. Schlott is just two points away from tying her.
Schlott was the first player in the Mountain West this season to surpass 400 points this season. The senior leads the conference in scoring, averaging 24.8 ppg. She has scored 596 points in 24 games so far this season. The 596 points ranks second on the USU single-game scoring list, passing Sharon Epps who scored 542 points in 1982. Devyn Christensen holds the record with 643 last season.
AGGIES IN THE NCAA RANKINGS - USU is 22nd in the NCAA statistics in steals, averaging 10.4 spg. Sacramento State leads the nation with 14.3 spg. The Aggies are have another stellar season from the charity stripe, standing 13th in the nation (76.6 percent). The Aggies are also 31st in scoring offense (77.7 ppg) behind Oregon which leads the nation with an amazing 93.6 ppg.
Individually, senior guard Jennifer Schlott is sixth in the country in points per game (24.8 ppg). Baylor's Odyssey Sims leads the country in scoring, averaging 30.3 ppg. Junior guard Elise Nelson is 30th in the nation in assist/turnover ratio (2.34).
SCHLOTT NAMED TO LEIBERMAN WATCH LIST - Senior guard Jennifer Schlott has been named to the Nancy Lierberman Award watch list, honoring the top point guard in the nation. The award is given by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The award recognizes the top point guard in women's NCAA Division I college basketball. Candidates exhibit the floor leadership, play-making and ball-handling skills of Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman.
Previous winners of the Nancy Lieberman Award include last year's recipient Skylar Diggins (Notre Dame), Sue Bird (Connecticut), Renee Montgomery (Connecticut), Diana Taurasi (Connecticut), Lindsey Harding (Duke), Courtney Vandersloot (Gonzaga), Temeka Johnson (LSU), Kristi Toliver (Maryland), Ivory Latta (North Carolina), and Andrea Riley (Oklahoma State).
SCHLOTT IN THE CLASSROOM - Senior guard Jennifer Schlott became the first Utah State women's basketball player to be named to the Capital One Academic All-District® team on Thursday.
The 2013-14 Capital One Academic All-District ® Women's Basketball Teams, selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America, have been released to recognize the nation's top student-athletes for their combined performances athletically and in the classroom. Capital One has been the entitlement rights holder to CoSIDA's Academic All-America teams programs since 2011.
Schlott, a native of Mesa, Ariz., currently has a 3.48 in marketing. She is a three-time Western Athletic Conference academic honoree. Last season, she was also named to the all-WAC second team. She is one of only two players in the Mountain West to be recognized along with Colorado State's Caitlin Duffy, who was honored by District 7. There was one other player from the state of Utah as BYU's Jennifer Hamson also earned District 8 honors.
MOVING UP THE MOUNTAIN - Utah State remains among the top of several Mountain West categories. USU is still first in scoring offense (77.7 ppg) and free throw percentage (76.6 percent). The Aggies are also third in assists (16.0 apg) and first in steals (10.4 spg) and third in turnover margin (+2.98). In conference games only, Utah State is third in scoring offense (73.9 bpg). USU is first in free throw percentage (76.5 percent) and blocks (4.2 bpg).
Individually, senior guard Jennifer Schlott is still first in the MW in scoring, averaging 24.8 ppg. Due to her injury, sophomore guard Makenlee Williams has fallen out of the rankings, despite averaging 16.3 ppg. The Aggies have three players in the top five in the conference in steals per game led by junior guard Elise Nelson (2.6 spg) and Schlott (2.0 spg) who are first and third, respectively. Franny Vaaulu is for fifth with 1.8 spg. In league only games, Schlott is still first, scoring 24.8 ppg in MW games. Nelson is first in steals (2.3 spg). Vaaulu is sixth and Stephanie Bairstow is eighth in blocks in MW games, averaging 1.2 and 0.9 bpg, repsectively.
CONFERENCE OPENERS - The Aggies improved to 6-5 in conference openers since the re-instatement after USU's win against Air Force on Jan. 1. Utah State was 5-3 in Western Athletic Conference openers winning the last four at home against UTSA last 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. Utah State was 3-2 in WAC openers at home. USU was 0-2 in Big West openers, taking on Idaho in both games.
USU IN MW OPENERS (1-0) 2013-14 W, vs. Air Force, 88-78SHATTERING RECORDS - Senior guard Jennifer Schlott did more than help the Aggies snap a two-game losing skid against UC Santa Barbara on Nov. 19. The guard shattered the school record for single-game scoring with 44 points against the Gauchos. She became the first USU player to break the 40-point mark. The previous school record was 38 points by Pat Montgomery against Weber State in 1979. She is the eighth men or women's basketball player to score at least 44 points. The last men's player to score 44 points was Aggie-great Jaycee Carroll against New Mexico State in 2007. Schlott's previous career-high was 37 points against Utah on Nov. 19. She is the only Aggie to have scored in double figures in all 23 games this season.
EVEN MORE ON 44 - Jennifer Schlott's 44 points is also among the best ever in the Mountain West. The 44 points scored is the second-most in Mountain West history as another Beehive State player Kalee Whipple of Utah scored 45 against TCU in 2010. Schlott's perfect 18-for-18 from the charity stripe also set records. The 18 made were the most ever in Mountain West history, as three different players made 17. She also joins one of many players to have a perfect free throw percentage (1.000).
Schlott's 44 points are tied for the sixth-most in the nation this season. Troy's Joanna Harden scored 52 points to lead the country, while Chelsea Douglas of Wake Forest and Baylor's Odyssey Sims both scored 48. UT Martin's Jasmine Newsome tied Schlott with 44 points earlier this season.
AGGIES ON THE RADIO/WEB - Most 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. There will be nine game that will only be heard through either www.UtahStateAggies.com or www.1390klgn.com but not on the radio.
SEASON OPENERS - This was the 11th season since Utah State women's basketball was re-instated for the 2003-04 season. The Aggies are 3-8 in season openers, falling to Utah Valley on the road last season, 78-62. The Aggies wins came against Wyoming to open the 2011-12 season and against Utah to begin the 2009-10 year and finally the win against Black Hills State, 103-46 this season.
FINKBEINER REACHES A MILESTONE - With a win against San José State on Jan. 4, head coach Jerry Finkbeiner reached a milestone in his 25th season. Finkbeiner won his 500th career game against the Spartans. He now has an overall record of 502-269. He is the 48th winningest active NCAA Division I coach by winning percentage .651.
BEING SOCIAL WITH THE AGGIES - Fans can follow USU women's basketball at twitter.com/USUwbb and Utah State athletics at twitter.com/USUAthletics. This season, Aggie fans can also find out what Utah State is up to on instagram at instagram.com/USUWBasketball and on facebook at facebook.com/USUWbb.
ON THE INTERNET - All of Utah State's home games are available to watch live through the Aggie Digital Network via the internet at www.UtahStateAggies.com. USU fans can also listen to every game both home and away, via USU's web site. This season the Aggies will be working in conjunction with the Mountain West Digital Network to stream all home games for free.
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.
AGGIES PICKED SIXTH IN MW PRESEASON POLL - Utah State women's basketball was selected sixth in the Mountain West Women's Basketball Preseason Poll as voted on by a panel of the league's 11 head coaches and media. The poll was announced by the conference, prior to the league's media days at the conference office in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Fresno State, coached by former USU head coach Raegan Pebley, was picked to finish first in the conference with 238 points, including 17 first-place votes. The Bulldogs captured the 2013 Mountain West Tournament. Wyoming was tabbed second with 212 points, including four first-place votes, while the 2013 MW regular-season champion San Diego State was chosen third with 196 points and two first-place votes. New Mexico (185 points) and UNLV (170 points) were voted fourth and fifth, respectively with the Rebels taking the final two first-place votes. Utah State was picked sixth with 136 points, just ahead of Colorado State at seventh with 130 points. Boise State (96 points), San José State (76), Nevada (62) and Air Force round out the poll finishing eighth-11th respectively.
Wyoming junior Kayla Woodward was named the 2013-14 MW Preseason Player of the Year. Woodward, a forward, was a second-team all-Mountain West selection last season and was named to the 2013 MW all-Tournament Team. Woodward, the top returning scorer in the league, averaged 14.1 points per game in 2012-13. She is joined on the preseason team by Colorado State's Sam Martin, Fresno State's Taylor Thompson, San Diego State's Erimma Amarikwa, and San José State's Ta`Rea Cunnigan. San Diego State's Chloe Johnson was named Preseason Freshman of the Year, while San Diego State transfer Cierra Warren earned Preseason Newcomer of the Year honors.
LAST TIME OUT - A jumper as time expired by junior forward Franny Vaaulu just missed as the Utah State women's basketball team dropped its fourth-straight with an 82-80 loss to UNLV at Cox Pavilion on Saturday.
Despite senior guard Jennifer Schlott's seventh 30-point game of the season, the Aggies fell just short against the Lady Rebels.
With the loss, the Aggies fall to 10-14 overall and 4-9 in Mountain West action. UNLV snaps a three-game losing streak with the win and improves to 10-14 overall and 7-5 in league play.
Besides Schlott's 30 points, two other Aggies scored in double figures. Vaaulu scored 13 off the bench to go along with a team-leading seven boards, three steals and two blocks. Sophomore guard Stephanie Bairstow added 12 points and tied a career-high with five assists. Schlott also had a team-high seven assists and four steals.
UNLV was led by 18 points from Alana Cesarz who also added four assists. Aley Rohde added 14 points, while Rejane Vernin and Danielle Miller added 12 and 10 points respectively. The Lady Rebels dominated on the boards with 41 compared to the Aggies' 29.
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.
Jerry Finkbeiner - Jerry Finkbeiner enters his second season as Utah State's ninth head women's basketball coach. Assistant coaches Micha Thompson and Stu Sells return for their second and third seasons, respectively. Crystal Robinson joins the team as the Aggies' third assistant coach, while Ebony Haliburton will be USU's Director of Basketball Operations.