Aggie Women's Basketball Celebrates Senior Day Saturday Against UT Arlington
March 1, 2013
LOGAN, Utah - TIP OFF - Utah State women's basketball (15-11, 12-3 WAC) concludes the home portion of the regular-season schedule on Saturday, March 1, hosting UT Arlington (6-20, 3-12 WAC) at 7 p.m. Following the game with the Mavericks, Utah State will honor its four seniors, Devyn Christensen, Banna Diop, Pualei Furtado and Jenna Johnson. Utah State begins the final month of the season against UT Arlington after ending February with a very successful 4-1 record. Utah State holds a 10-3 record from January through February.
SUPER SENIORS - This year's senior class has seen records fall during their four years as Aggies. During their four season's at Utah State, the team has had double figures in wins all four years, including a team-record 21 wins during the 2011-12 season. USU has also advanced to the Women's National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) the last two seasons. This season, the Aggies set a new school record with its 12th conference win. The Aggies set the record last season with an 11-3 WAC records. Guard Devyn Christensen set the all-time scoring record at Utah State with 1,422 points during her four years. Guard Jenna Johnson is third in career steals with 203. Despite fighting injuries during her career center Banna Diop ended her Aggie career third in blocks with 118.
HIGH-FLYING AGGIES - Utah State has four players averaging in double figures in conference play, led by 18 points per game by senior Devyn Christensen. Junior Jennifer Schlott is second with 15.9 ppg, while Jenna Johnson scores 15.4 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. Sophomore Franny Vaaulu averages 10.0 ppg. As a team, USU scores 80.7 points per game, while allowing 73.4 ppg.
SCOUTING UT ARLINGTON - Utah State captured the only other meeting between the teams in Arlington on Jan. 23, 93-83. In that game, the Aggies took a 20-point lead in the first half before the Mavericks came roaring back in the second half. Devyn Christensen scored 21 points to go along with 18 off the bench from Franny Vaaulu.
So far this season, the Mavericks are 6-20 overall and 3-12 in WAC play. UT Arlington has won three of its last six games with wins over Texas State, Idaho and New Orleans. The Mavericks other WAC win came against New Mexico State on Dec. 29.
The Mavericks have had 17 players see playing time in at least one game this season. Laila Suleiman leads the team in scoring, averaging 8.7 points per game. Desherra Nwanguma scores 8.2 ppg, while Aron Garcia leads the team in rebounding with 7.6 rpg.
AGGIES VS UT ARLINGTON IN THE WAC 2012-13 USU 93, UT Arlington 83 (Arlington) Total 1-0ALL GOOD THINGS COME TO AN END - The Aggies had their season-high eight-game winning streak come to an end on Feb. 16. 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's longest winning streak last season was six games.
AGGIES TOPS IN THE NATION - Utah State women's basketball remains in first place in the current NCAA statistics in free throw percentage, shooting 80.0 percent from the free throw line.
The Aggies have hit 429-of-536 free throws this season and their 80.0 percent is also tops in the WAC. USU also has three of the top free throw shooters in the country, led by senior guard Devyn Christensen who shoots a league-leading 91.7 percent. Christensen has missed only nine of the 109 free throws she has attempted this season. Junior guard Jennifer Schlott is second in the WAC, shooting 85.3 percent (116-of-136), while senior guard Jenna Johnson is fifth, shooting 83.1 percent (118-of-142).
Utah State is also seventh in the nation in scoring offense (76.7 ppg) and fifth in steals (12.8 spg). Individually, Christensen is also fifth three-point field goals per game, making 3.23 treys a game. She is also sixth in free-throw percentage (91.7). Christensen is also among the nation's leaders in scorers, standing 22nd with 19.8 points per game. Johnson is also 21st in the nation in steals per game (3.08 spg).
TOUGH D - The 11 points allowed in the first half against Louisiana Tech were the fewest since Utah Valley allowed only 16 points in the first half on Jan. 7, 2012. In the first half, the Louisiana Tech shot only 13.3 percent, going 4-for-30.
NEWBIES MAKING SOME NOISE - Utah State has had five newcomers see playing time this season. Several have had an immediate impact this season. Freshman Makenlee Williams has started 21 of the Aggies' 26 games, while fellow freshman Haylee Thompson has started nine games and has played in 25. Freshman Stephanie Bairstow has started five games and has played in all 26 games, while senior transfer Cristal Turner has started two game and played in all 26. Junior Tanja Steed, who is recovering from an injury, has played in two games this season.
PROTECTING THE HOME TURF - The Aggies and Seattle are the only two teams in the WAC that are undefeated in WAC play at home so far this season. Utah State is 8-0 in league play with one game left this season. The Redhawks are 7-0 with two home games remaining. Overall, Utah State is 9-2 at home this season. Last season, the Aggies were 12-3 at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, which is a school record.
BREAKING WAC RECORDS - With a 12-3 conference record, Utah State broke the school record for conference wins. The 2011-12 Aggies' had previously set the record 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.
FREE 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.
SCORING OVER 90 - Utah State has scored 90 or more points five times this season. The Aggies are 3-2 in those game. USU has wins over Idaho (91-85), UT Arlington (93-83) and Denver (92-89). Utah State has losses to UC Riverside (94-90) and New Mexico State (106-94).
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 1,406 career points.
WINDING DOWN THE SEASON - Following USU's game against UT Arlington, the Aggies will have two games left in the regular season. Utah State is 2-0 against those remaining teams this season. USU ends the regular season on the road, facing Texas State (March 7) and UTSA (March 9) before preparing for the WAC Tournament.
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. In WAC games and overall, Utah State averages 7.5 three pointers per game.
AGGIES IN THE NCAA STATS - In the most recent NCAA statistics release, senior guard Devyn Christensen is 22nd in points per game (19.8 ppg). Christensen is sixth in the nation in free throw percentage (91.7 percent) and is still fifth in three-pointers made (3.23). Senior guard Jenna Johnson is 21st in the country in steals per game (3.08 spg).
As a team, Utah State is still first in the country in free throw percentage, shooting 80.0 percent from the charity stripe. The Aggies passed No. 2 Notre Dame which was tops in the nation. USU moved up to fifth in the country in steals (12.8 spg). Utah State is seventh in scoring offense, averaging 76.7 ppg.
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 203 career steals. She is just 13 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 currently third in the WAC in scoring, averaging 19.8 points per game. She is behind San Jose State's Ta'Rea Cunnigan (20.2 ppg) and Texas State's Diamond Ford (21.2 ppg). Jenna Johnson is eighth, averaging 14.2 ppg, while Jennifer Schlott is ninth in scoring with 13.8 ppg. Christensen, who broke the WAC's single-season record for free throw percentage last season, is first this season, shooting 91.7 percent. She has only missed nine of the 109 free throws that she has attempted. Freshman Makenlee Williams is first in the league in three-point free throw percentage, shooting 41.8 percent from beyond the arc. Johnson is third in the conference in steals, averaging 3.08 spg, while Christensen is fourth with 2.73 spg. Jennifer Schlott is second in assists with 4.20 apg. Franny Vaaulu is second in field goal percent, shooting 56.1 percent from the field.
As a team, USU is first in free throw percent (80.0 percent). The Aggies are second in blocked shots (4.54 bpg). Utah State is still first in scoring (76.7 ppg) and second in field goal percentage (40.6 percent). Utah State is second in steals (12.81 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 11-0 this year. In six of USU's nine WAC wins this season, the Aggies have allowed under 70 points. Utah State is 4-11 when allowing more than 70 points.
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.
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 - Seattle still remains percentage points ahead of Utah State for first place in the WAC with a 13-3 record compared to the Aggies' 12-3 mark. Idaho stands alone in third with a 10-6 record, while UTSA and Louisiana Tech are tied for fourth with 8-7 records. Denver and San Jose State are knotted up in the sixth spot with matching 7-8 marks. New Mexico State is seventh with a 5-10 record, while Texas State and UT Arlington are tied for ninth at 3-12.
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 10-1 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 26 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 nine 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 three games. Yet another lineup was unveiled on Saturday, Jan. 19 when Schlott, Christensen, Johnson, 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 - For the first time in school history, Utah State women's basketball swept the season series with Louisiana Tech, capturing a 70-56 victory Thursday at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
This is the Aggies first-ever home win against the Lady Techsters, improving to 4-14 against Louisiana Tech. USU defeated the Lady Techsters, 76-75, in overtime in Ruston.
With the win, Utah State improved to 15-11 overall and 12-3 in Western Athletic Conference action. The 12 league wins is a school record. Louisiana Tech fell to 12-14 overall and 8-7 in conference games.
The Aggies had four players in double figures in scoring led by 19 points from junior guard Jennifer Schlott. She also tied a career-high with six steals and four assists. Senior guard Devyn Christensen added 16 points and six assists, while senior guard Jenna Johnson scored 13. Off the bench, senior guard Cristal Turner scored 10 points and tied a career high with four blocks. For the game, USU had 14 steals and eight blocks.
Brittany Lewis led all scorers with 24 points and 10 rebounds, while Whitney Frazier had 11 points and 15 boards. The Lady Techsters ended the game out-rebounding the Aggies, 45-37.
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.