Aggie Women's Basketball Faces Familiar Foe at Fresno State Saturday
Feb. 20, 2014
LOGAN, Utah - TIP OFF - After snapping its four-game losing streak with a 79-69 win over San Diego State, the Utah State women's basketball team hits the road again to take on Fresno State on Saturday, Feb. 22. Tip off at the Save Mart Center is set for 3 p.m. (MT).
This is the first meeting this season between the Aggies and the Bulldogs. USU will only face Fresno State in Fresno, just as it only took on Air Force in Logan this season.
Overall, Utah State is 11-14 overall and 5-9 in Mountain West action. Fresno State is currently 15-10 overall and tied for third in league play with a 9-5 record. The Bulldogs prevented losing two-straight games with a 65-60 win over Wyoming on Wednesday in Fresno.
THE OPPONENT - Fresno State is 14-2 all-time against Utah State, and have not met since the Bulldogs left the Western Athletic Conference after the 2011-12 season. The Aggies last win against Fresno State came during the 2007-08 season when USU won, 44-40 in Logan. USU's other win came during the 2006-07 year when the Aggies won 81-75 at home. Senior Jennifer Schlott and juniors Franny Vaaulu and Elise Nelson are the only Aggies' to have faced Fresno State before.
After winning four-straight conference games to start conference play, the Bulldogs have won every other game since then. Fresno State is the only team in Mountain West action this season to knock off first-place Colorado State, 60-50 in Fresno. Taylor Thompson is 10th in the MW in scoring, averaging 13.4 ppg. She is also second in steals behind USU's Elise Nelson with 2.7 spg. Bree Farley is 14th in scoring 12.2 ppg.
Schlott already has 356 points, averaging 25.4 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 25.4 points per game. UNLV's Linda Fröhlich currently holds that record, averaging 21.1 ppg in 14 MW games.
Mountain West Single-Season Leaders Name, School Year Points Kim Smith, Utah 2005-06 655 Jennifer Schlott, Utah State 2013-14 629 Aubrey Vandiver, Wyoming 2010-11 625 Kim Smith, Utah 2004-05 606 Linda Fröhlich, UNLV 1999-00 604REUNION 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.
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 152 assists this season, which is good for second in single-season assists, passing Corrina Poto who had 150 assists in 1982. She is just 17 away from Charisse Bremond who had 169 assists in 1985. Schlott is now second in single-season points in a season with 629, passing Sharon Epps who scored 542 points in 1982. She needs 14 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 FRESNO STATE - In a battle between the first and second place teams in the Western Athletic Conference, first-place Fresno State prevailed over the Utah State women's basketball team, 78-60, in Fresno in 2012.
Utah State falls to 17-8 overall and 8-3 in the Western Athletic Conference. The road loss was the Aggies' first since losing to Idaho State on Dec. 10. Utah State had won eight-straight road games, including its first seven WAC games. Fresno State improves to 22-4 overall and 10-0 in league action with the win.
Despite the loss, the Aggies maintain sole possession of second place in the WAC after Louisiana Tech lost to Hawai`i earlier today.
The Aggies were led by 21 points from junior guard Devyn Christensen. Fellow junior guard Jenna Johnson also added a career-high with 17 points to go along with seven rebounds. Senior forward Ashlee Brown led all players with 12 rebounds, while adding five points and three assists.
Rosie Moult scored a team-high 20 points for Fresno State with Ki-Ki Moore adding 12 points. Alex Sheedy had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Bulldogs.
KEEPING IT UNDER 70 - Utah State has a magic number when deciding wins and losses. USU is a perfect 8-0 when allowing less than 70 points in a game. The Aggies only have three wins this season when allowing more than 70 points in victories over UC Santa Barbara (81-70), Air Force (88-78) and Wyoming (80-75).
TAKING A LOOK AT THE STANDINGS - With only two full weeks, remaining, Colorado State remains to stand tall as the top of the Mountain West standings with a 13-1 overall league record. Boise State is in second place alone with a 9-4 record, while Fresno State and Nevada are tied fourth with 9-5 conference records. Wyoming is in fifth with an 8-5 record. Utah State is alone in eighth with a 5-9 league record. Air Force is the only Mountain West team without a conference with as it holds a 0-13 league mark.
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 Agg/ies 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 seventh game against a team from the Golden State this season. So far this season, USU is 5-1 against California schools. At home, USU defeated Loyola Marymount (100-58) and San Diego State (79-69). 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 a road game against Fresno State and a home game against SJSU.
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 six in conference games and has had eight 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 396 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. That was Djukic's first career start. Ten different Aggies have started at least one game this season led by Schlott who has started all 25 games.
UP NEXT - 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 10-2 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 373 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 629 points this season, now has 1,384 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 second all-time, passing Jerrie McGahan (1977-80) who scored 1353 points.
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. While USU is now second in scoring offense (77.7 ppg), the Aggies are still first in free throw percentage (76.4 percent). The Aggies are also first in steals (10.6 spg), second in assists (16.0 apg) and second in turnover margin (+3.1). In conference games only, Utah State is third in scoring offense (74.3 ppg). USU is first in free throw percentage (76.1 percent) and blocks (4.1 bpg).
Individually, senior guard Jennifer Schlott is still first in the MW in scoring, averaging 25.2 ppg. Due to her injury, sophomore guard Makenlee Williams has fallen out of the rankings, despite averaging 16.5 ppg. The Aggies have three players in the top six in the conference in steals per game led by junior guard Elise Nelson (2.7 spg) and Schlott (2.0 spg) who are first and third, respectively. Franny Vaaulu is for tied for sixth with 1.7 spg. In league only games, Schlott is still first, scoring 25.4 ppg in MW games. Nelson is first in steals (2.4 spg). Vaaulu is seventh and Stephanie Bairstow is ninth in blocks in MW games, averaging 1.1 and 0.9 bpg, respectively.
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 - With 33 points Wednesday night, Utah State women's basketball's senior guard Jennifer Schlott broke the Mountain West single-season scoring record for conference games as Utah State stopped its four-game losing streak with a 79-69 win over San Diego State at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
With a pair of free throws with 10:11 left in the first half, Schlott became the Mountain West's single-season scoring leader in league games. She passed Utah's Kim Smith who had 327 points during the 2005-06 season. Schlott is now 14 points away from tying Devyn Christensen's Utah State single-season school record of 643 points set last season. She is also just 26 points from tying Kim Smith's MW single-season scoring record of 655 points during the 2005-06 season.
Schlott also added seven assists, three rebounds and two steals in the win. Sophomore guard Makenlee Williams added 19 points and seven rebounds, while junior forward Franny Vaaulu scored 12 points off the bench. Sophomore guard Stephanie Bairstow was the Aggies' top rebounder with nine boards.
San Diego State had two players with double-doubles, led by 11 points and 10 boards from Danesha Long. Khristina Hunter also had 10 points and a game-leading 13 boards. Cierra Warren led the Aztecs in scoring with 17 points, while Chloe Johnson added 13 points.
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.