Women's Basketball Closes Out the Regular Season on Senior Night Against San Jose State
March 2, 2012
LOGAN, Utah - TIP OFF - Utah State women's basketball (19-8, 10-3 WAC) will close out the regular season against San Jose State on Saturday, March 3 at 7 p.m. Against the Spartans, Utah State will say thank you to six seniors, Chelsea Burns, Ashlee Brown, Banna Diop, Brooke Jackson, Maddy Plunkett and Reyneisha Mays. Last time out, Utah State defeated Hawai`i, 85-64, on March 1. Senior forward Ashlee Brown came close to a triple-double with 21 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds.
EARNING THE SECOND SEED - With the win against Hawai`i on March 1, the Aggies secure the second seed in the upcoming Western Athletic Conference Tournament in Las Vegas, March 7-10. The second seed is the highest in USU's seven seasons in the WAC after earning the third seed last season. Utah State also set the school record for wins in a season, improving to 19-8 this season overall and 10-3 in league play. Last season, the Aggies set the record with a 18-15 mark. This is the third-straight season that USU has won at least 12 games. With a 10-3 conference record, Utah State is close to breaking the record for league wins. With a win against San Jose State on Saturday, the Aggies would enter new territory with their 11th conference win.
THE OPPONENT - San Jose State (11-17, 6-7 WAC) is 4-10 overall against Utah State in 14 meetings. The Spartans are 3-10 against the Aggies since USU joined the WAC. The Aggies have won the last nine meetings between the teams with the Spartans last earning a win against USU in San Jose in 2007.
Last time out, San Jose State lost a close 70-65 game on the road to Idaho on March 1. The WAC's leading scorer, Brittany Johnson, scored 26 points in the loss added eight rebounds. Myesha Broaden added 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Johnson is averaging 19.9 points per game this season to lead the team and the conference. She is 16th in the nation in scoring. Sara Plavljanin is second in scoring for SJSU, averaging 13.5 ppg. As a team, the Spartans average 64.2 ppg, while allowing 68.5 ppg.
AGGIES VS SAN JOSE STATE IN THE WAC 2005-06 San Jose State 61, USU 53 (in Logan) San Jose State 70, USU 49 (in San Jose) 2006-07 USU 58, San Jose State 50, (in Logan) San Jose State 65, USU 57 (in San Jose) 2007-08 USU 68, San Jose State 58 (in Logan) USU 61, San Jose State 60, (in San Jose) 2008-09 USU 64, San Jose State 54 (in San Jose) USU 62, San Jose State 51 (in Logan) 2009-10 USU 65, San Jose State 54 (in Logan) USU 66, SJSU 46 (in San Jose) 2010-11 USU 72, San Jose State 57 (in Logan) USU 75, San Jose State 39 (in San Jose) 2011-12 USU 78, San Jose State 73 (in San Jose) Overall Record: 10-3BROWN SETS CAREER RECORD FOR FREE THROWS MADE - After going a perfect 7-for-7 from the free throw line against Hawai`i on March 1, senior forward Ashlee Brown broke the Utah State career record for free throws made. With 266 free throws made in an Aggie uniform, she passes Utah State great Ali Marchant who made 262 free throws from 2003-06. Brown is now only five free throws away from tying the single-season record for free throws made. She currently has 143 made this season, while Sharon Epps made 148 during the 1982 season.
AGGIES CLIMB IN THE NCAA STATS - In the most recent NCAA Statistics (March. 1), the Aggies are up to second in the country in three-point field goal percentage (38.9 percent). Richmond leads the nation, shooting 39.7 percent from three. The Aggies sharp shooting continues as they are 16th in the country in field goal percentage, shooting 44.2 percent. Utah State is also in the top 20 in free throw percentage, standing in fifth and shooting 78.4 percent.
Junior guard Devyn Christensen is now sixth in the nation in free throw percentage with a stellar 90.0 percentage. She is just behind Richmond's Abby Oliver who has a remarkable 94.2 free throw percentage. Senior guard Brooke Jackson 11th in the country with a free throw percentage of 88.8.
In the latest RPI the Aggies are ranked 136 which is second in the WAC behind Fresno State which is 58.
ON THE VERGE- Utah State is on the verge of several school records. USU currently has a free throw percentage of 78.4 percent. The school record is 76.0 percent in 1978. Last season, Devyn Christensen set the school record for free throw percentage (86.1). So far this season, she has a free throw percentage of 90.0 percent, while Brooke Jackson would also break the record as of now, shooting 88.8 percent from the charity stripe. Senior forward Ashlee Brown is close to breaking the record for free throws made in a season. So far this season, she has made 143 free throws. The record is 148 by Sharon Epps in 1982.
LENDING A HELPING HAND - In the win against the Rainbow Wahine, Utah State came close to tying the school record for assists in a game with 27 led by 10 by Ashlee Brown. Both the 1982 and 1983 teams had 28 assists. The 10 assists by Brown was a career high and the most since Alice Coddington had 11 against Utah Valley in 2011.
SECURING SEEDS - With only one game remaining in the regular season, several seeds have yet to be determined. Fresno State has secured the top seed in the tournament and look to defend the WAC Tournament title from last season. Utah State has secured the second seed, while Louisiana Tech holds the third seed. Idaho could finish anywhere between the 4-6, depending on the outcome from the game with Hawai`i who could also finish anywhere from 4-6. San Jose State will either be the fourth seed if it beats Utah State or the fifth if it loses. The final two spots will go to either New Mexico State or Nevada. The Wolf Pack will need to beat Louisiana Tech and have Fresno State beat New Mexico State to earn the seven seed.
FREQUENT FLYERS - Utah State ended WAC road play with a 6-1 record which was its best ever since joining the league. The Aggies only loss came against first-place Fresno State on Feb. 16. Overall, the Aggies won seven-straight road games which is a Utah State record before falling to Fresno State. Last year, USU ended WAC action 4-4 in on the road. Overall, the Aggies are 9-5 on the road in 14 games. The nine road wins breaks an Aggie record as the 1975-76 team went 8-6 on the road. USU ended the 2010-11 season with a 7-8 record away from the friendly confines of the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
BRINGING THE DEFENSE - Utah State is 8-0 when it opponents score under 60 points or less. The Aggies have wins against Wyoming, Northern Arizona, Boise State, Asbury, Utah Valley, New Mexico State (twice) and Hawai`i. USU is 15-2 when allowing less than 69 points in a game.
RECORD SETTING AGGIES - In Utah State's win over Nevada on Jan. 21, the Aggies set a school record for field goal percentage in a game, shooting 58.6 percent from the field (34-of-58). The record was previously held by the 1982 Aggie squad that shot 58.3 percent against New Mexico State in 1982. In that game, Utah State defeated New Mexico State, 105-98.
CHRISTENSEN CRUISES TO THE TOP - Junior Devyn Christensen is now first in the conference in scoring in WAC games, averaging 20.5 points. She is just ahead of San Jose State's Brittany Johnson who scores 20.1 ppg in league games. Her teammate Ashlee Brown is 10th in scoring in WAC games, averaging 13.5 ppg. Christensen is second in free throw percentage (93.9 percent), third in field goal percentage (54.1 percent) and second in three point field goal percentage (44.4 percent).
HIGH SCORING AGGIES - Utah State's two meetings with Nevada have been two of the Aggies' highest scoring games of the season. USU won the first game 91-69 and took the second game 84-72. The most points that USU has scored this season was in a 97-86 win against Boise State at home on Nov. 23. Two Aggies had season highs in scoring in the win against the Wolf Pack. Devyn Christensen tied a career high with 27 points, while Jenna Johnson added a then season-high 12 points.
COMPLETE PACKAGE - In USU's come-from-behind win against Nevada on Feb. 16, Ashlee Brown did it all. Not only did she have her seventh double-double of the season with 20 points and 10 rebounds, but she also added a season-high six assists against the Wolf Pack. Brown also had four steals and two blocks in the win.
AGGIES IN THE WAC STATS - Devyn Christensen is now fourth in the WAC in scoring, averaging 15.2 points per game. Ashlee Brown is fifth in the league in scoring, averaging 14.6 points per game. Brown is third in the league in rebounding with 8.8 rpg. Senior Maddy Plunkett is first in the league in three-point shooting (47.4 percent). Devyn Christensen overtook Brooke Jackson for first place in the league in free throw percentage, shooting 90.0 percent. Brooke Jackson is now second in the WAC free throw shooting (88.8 percent.).
As a team, USU is second behind Fresno State in scoring offense, averaging 72.5 points per game. The Aggies, Louisiana Tech and the Bulldogs are the only three teams in the league with positive scoring margins with USU holding a +6.6 scoring margin. The Aggies are still first in free throw percentage (77.7). USU is still first in field goal percentage, shooting 44.2 percent this season. Utah State is also first in three-point field goal percentage, shooting 38.9 percent from beyond the arc.
AGGIES IN WAC OPENERS - Utah State is now 4-3 in WAC openers winning the last three on the road at New Mexico State in 2012 and at Louisiana Tech in 2010 and at home against Boise State in 2011. This was the first time since USU joined the league that the Aggies of Utah State faced the Aggies of New Mexico State in a league opener. Utah State is now 2-1 in WAC openers on the road.
USU IN WAC OPENERS (4-3) 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, 74-56STARTING FIVE- In 26 games this season, Utah State has used eight different lineups. Ashlee Brown is the only Aggie to have started all 26 games this season. Jennifer Schlott has started 11 out of 26 games, while Brooke Jackson has been in the starting five 10 times. The Aggies had the same starting lineup, Elise Nelson, Brown, Johnson, Devyn Christensen and Maddy Plunkett for 14-straight games. In its last game, Brown, Nelson, Christensen, Johnson and Jackson were in the starting lineup.
AGGIES LOSE BURNS TO INJURY - Utah State women's basketball junior guard/forward Chelsea Burns has been medically disqualified due to a knee injury. The injury is similar to the one that kept her out of the entire 2009-10 season. Burns, a native of Carlsbad, Calif, started the first four games of the season and played in five this season. She averaged 10.8 minutes. 0.8 points and 1.6 rebounds per game. The junior has been diagnosed with an osteochondral defect and a meniscus tear and will have knee surgery on December 15. Burns graduated at the end of the fall semester with a degree in law and constitutional studies and will begin her master's of education next semester.
HOME OPENERS - Utah State is now 8-14 in home openers and 3-6 under Coach Pebley after the Aggies defeated Weber State, 73-63 on Nov. 16. Prior to the win over the Wildcats, the last time the Aggies won a home opener was a 67-58 win against in-state rival Utah in 2009. Last season, USU fell to Dixie State in its home and season opener, 71-67. Under Coach Pebley, Utah State is 1-2 against Weber State in home openers.
LAST TIME OUT - Senior forward Ashlee Brown scored 21 points and added a career-high 10 assists to lead the Utah State women's basketball team to a solid, 85-64, win over Hawai`i at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum on Thursday night.
Brown earned her ninth double-double of the season with a rare 21 point, 10 assist double-double. Junior guard Devyn Christensen had her team-leading 10th 20-point game of the season with 23 points. Senior guard Brooke Jackson added 19 points for the high-scoring Aggies. USU ended the game with season-high 27 assists which was just one shy of the school record set in 1982 and 1983. The Aggies were perfect from the free throw line going 19-for-19 in the game.
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.
TURNING 24 - The 2011-12 season marks the 24th year of women's basketball at USU, and just the ninth 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 seventh season in the WAC after playing its first two seasons in the Big West Conference.
AGGIES IN THE PRESEASON POLLS - Utah State women's basketball was selected second in the Western Athletic Conference coaches' poll and third in the media poll. Both predictions are the highest for USU since joining the WAC. Last season, the Aggies were picked seventh in both the coaches' and the media poll.
The Aggies received 40 points in the WAC coaches' poll, including two of the eight first-place votes. Defending WAC regular season-champion, Louisiana Tech, was picked first with 47 points, including five-first place votes. Fresno State, the 2011 WAC Tournament champions, was picked third with 36 points and the final first-place vote. Nevada placed fourth with 33 points, followed by Hawai`i with 22 points. New Mexico State was picked to finish in sixth place with 18 points, while Idaho was just a point behind with 17 points to finish in seventh place. The coaches' poll was rounded out by San Jose State in eighth place with 11 points.
In the media poll, Utah State was voted third with 126 points, including three first-place votes. As with the coaches' poll, Louisiana Tech was picked first with 144 total points and 13 first-place votes. The only difference between the polls was that Fresno State took second-place in the media poll with 129 points and three first-place votes. Nevada earned the fourth spot with 80 points, followed by Hawai`i with 72. The media poll was rounded out with New Mexico State in sixth with 59 points, while Idaho (52 points) and San Jose State (22 points) were picked to finish seventh and eighth, respectively.
AGGIES ON THE RADIO/WEB - All Utah State games can be heard on KLGN (1390 AM) in Logan with Craig Hislop taking the reigns this season. 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.
HEAD COACH Raegan Pebley - Raegan Pebley is entering her ninth season as head coach at Utah State, which is the longest tenure in the program's history. Five games into the 2007-08 season, Pebley overtook the lead for the most games coached in Utah State history (116). She has now coached 261 games for the blue and white and has 108 wins as Aggie head coach, which is first ahead of Fern Gardner (55) on the all-time win list.