Second-Seeded Aggie Women's Basketball Set to Face Seventh-Seeded Nevada in WAC Tournament Quarterfinals Wednesday
March 6, 2012
LOGAN, Utah - TIP OFF - Second-seeded Utah State women's basketball (20-8, 11-3 WAC) enters the WAC Tournament on a three-game winning streak. The Aggies won their final three home games against Idaho, Hawai`i and San Jose State. In the quarterfinals of the WAC Tournament, Utah State will take on seventh-seeded Nevada on Wednesday, March 7 at 3:30 p.m. (MT). The Aggies and the Wolf Pack have met once in the tournament with Nevada earning a hard-fought 61-60 win in Las Cruces, N.M. in the 2007 WAC Tournament.
WAC TOURNAMENT HISTORY - The Aggies are playing in their seventh WAC Tournament. Utah State is 2-6 in the tournament with an overtime win in the quarterfinals against Idaho in 2009 and a quarterfinal win over New Mexico State in 2011. Four of the six WAC Tournaments that USU has played in have been in the state of Nevada, playing three in Reno and one in Las Vegas. Utah State has the dubious distinction of having lost to the eventual champion the last three season's, losing to Fresno State in 2009 and 2011 and Louisiana Tech in 2010.
AGGIES IN THE WAC TOURNAMENT 2005-06 #8 Idaho 70, #9 USU 59 (at Reno, Nev.) 2006-07 #3 Nevada 61, #6 USU 60 (at Las Cruces, N.M.) 2007-08 #2 Boise State 61, #7 USU 47 (at Las Cruces, N.M.) 2008-09 #5 USU 59, #4 Idaho 58 (OT) (at Reno, Nev.) #1 Fresno State 57, #5 USU 54 2009-10 #2 Louisiana Tech 82, #7 USU 65 (at Reno, Nev.) 2010-11 #3 USU 72, #6 NMSU 67 (at Las Vegas, Nev.) #2 Fresno State 86, #3 USU 76 Overall Record 2-6THE QUARTERFINAL OPPONENT - Nevada (7-22, 3-11 WAC) is 8-9 overall against Utah State in 17 meetings. The Wolf Pack are 7-8 against the Aggies since USU joined the WAC. The Aggies have won the last four meetings between the teams, sweeping the season series for the second-straight season. Utah State defeated Nevada, 84-72 on Feb. 16 in Reno. In that game, Devyn Christensen tied her career high with 27 points. Kate Kevorken is Nevada's leading scorer, averaging 15.9 points per game. Kayla Williams is second in scoring with 13.0 ppg and 7.0 rpg. As a team, Nevada scores 67.6 ppg, while allowing 75.2 ppg.
AGGIES VS NEVADA IN THE WAC 2005-06 Nevada 64, USU 54 (in Reno) Nevada 67, USU 51 (in Logan) 2006-07 USU 59, Nevada 44 (in Logan) Nevada 61, USU 49 (in Reno) Nevada 61, USU 60 (WAC Tournament in Las Cruces) 2007-08 Nevada 75, USU 55 (in Reno) USU 56, Nevada 48 (in Logan) 2008-09 Nevada 56, USU 49 (in Logan) USU 63, Nevada 52 (in Reno) 2009-10 Nevada 69, USU 58 (in Logan) Nevada 77, USU 66 (in Reno) 2010-11 USU 81, Nevada 69 (in Logan) USU 79, Nevada 73 (in Reno) 2011-12 USU 91, Nevada 69 (in Logan) USU 84, Nevada 72 (in Reno) Overall Record: 7-8EARNING THE SECOND SEED - With the win against Hawai`i on March 1, the Aggies secured the second seed in the upcoming WAC 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.
#1 Fresno State (25-5, 13-1 WAC): Fresno State is the defending WAC Tournament Champions, defeating Louisiana Tech in the title game last season in Las Vegas. WAC Player and Newcomer of the Year, Ki-Ki Moore leads the team in scoring, averaging 16.5 ppg and 7.4 rpg. She is also first on the team in steals with 89 in 30 games this season. The Bulldogs are first in the WAC in scoring offense, averaging 75.2 ppg, while allowing 62.6 ppg. Utah State was 0-2 against the Bulldogs this season.
#3 Louisiana Tech (15-14, 8-6 WAC): Shantale Bramble Donaldson leads the team in scoring, averaging 11.3 ppg. Bramble-Donaldson and Jasmine Bendolph both earned second-team all-WAC honors. The Aggies and the Lady Techsters both won games on each other's court. Utah State defeated LA Tech for the second-time in school history, 79-62, onJan. 14. Louisiana Tech returned the favor with an, 82-76, win in Logan on Feb. 9.
#4 Idaho (11-19, 6-8 WAC): Idaho has won two-straight games with wins to end the regular season against San Jose State and Hawai`i. First-team all-WAC selection Alyssa Charlston averages 14.5 ppg. Stacey Barr is second on the team in scoring averaging 10.1 ppg. USU swept Idaho for the second-straight season.
#5 San Jose State (11-18, 6-8 WAC): San Jose State first-year head coach Tim LaKose earned the school's second WAC Coach of the Year honor, while Brittany Johnson earned first-team all-WAC honors. The Spartans gave the Aggies a scare in San Jose, but Utah State pulled out a 78-73 win on the road. The Aggies defeated SJSU 84-71 in Logan to end the regular season.
#6 Hawai'i (11-18, 6-8 WAC): The Rainbow Wahine have two players averaging in double figures, Kamiliah Jackson (13.0 ppg) and Breanna Arbuckle (10.1 ppg). Jackson earned second-team all-WAC honors, while Arbuckle was named to the all-Defensive squad. Utah State captured both game against Hawai`i this season with a, 69-55, win in Honolulu and a 85-64 win in Logan.
#7 Nevada (7-22, 3-11 WAC): Nevada ended the regular season with huge wins against New Mexico State and Louisiana Tech to work its way up to the seventh seed. The Wolf Pack have three players average in double digits, Kate Kevorken (15.9 ppg), Kayla Williams (13.0 ppg) and Chanelle Brennan (10.2 ppg). USU won both games of the season series this season.
#8 New Mexico State (6-23, 3-11): The crimson Aggies lost their last three games of the regular season. Tabytha Wampler continues to lead New Mexico State, averaging 13.2 ppg and 9.0 rpg. NMSU opened WAC action with Utah State way back on Jan. 12 in Las Cruces with the blue Aggies earning a 74-56 win. USU won in Logan, 57-45, on Feb.11.
TOPS IN THE COUNTRY - Utah State moved up to first in the country in three-point field goal percentage, according to the latest NCAA statistics, released on Monday.
Utah State is now first in the nation in three-point field goal percentage (39.2 percent). The Aggies are 161-of-411 from beyond the arc. USU is also fifth in the NCAA statistics in free throw field goal percentage (78.9 percent). Delaware is first in the country (81.4 percent).
This is the first time that Utah State has led the nation in three-point shooting. It is also the highest three-point percentage in the Western Athletic Conference since Utah shot 39.2 percent during the 1994-95 season.
WAC TOURNAMENT - For the second time since 1999 the Western Athletic Championships will return to Las Vegas, Nev., where Utah State women's basketball will compete as the third seed in the four day tournament March 9-12 at the Orleans Arena. The last time the tournament was in Las Vegas, SMU defeated Colorado State 65-49 in the championship game.
AGGIES EARN POSTSEASON HONORS - Utah State women's basketball players senior forward Ashlee Brown and junior guard Devyn Christensen both earned first-team all-Western Athletic Conference honors as the league office announced its postseason honors Monday. Brown was also the WAC Defensive Player of the Year and was named to the all-Defensive team.
Brown (Chandler, Ariz.) is the first Utah State player to earn first-team all-WAC honors two-straight seasons. In 2009, current assistant coach Danyelle Snelgro was the first Aggie to be named to the first team. Brown ended WAC action sixth in the league in scoring (14.4 ppg) and fourth in assists (4.07 apg). Overall, the senior is fifth in scoring, averaging 14.8 ppg and has had 10 double-doubles this season.
Christensen (Caldwell, Idaho) is the fifth Aggie to earn all-WAC honors and the third to earn first-team accolades after Brown and Snelgro. Senior forward Amber White was named to the all-WAC second-team in 2010, while Ana Pares earned second-team honors in 2009. Christensen led the league in scoring in WAC games, averaging 20.6 points per game and along with San Jose State's Brittany Johnson are the only two players averaging over 20.0 ppg. The junior guard was also third in conference in steals, averaging 2.36 spg. HIGH IN THE 80S - USU's win against San Jose State on March 3 was the Aggies' third-straight 80-point outing and fourth in the last five, after scoring 85 in the previous two contests, moving to 7-0 when scoring more than 80 points.
RECORD-SETTING SEASON - With the win against the Spartans on March 3 to end the regular season, Utah State improved to 20-8 over to become the first Aggie women's basketball team to earn 20 wins. Last season, USU set the record for wins
JOHNSON EARNS FIRST DOUBLE-DOUBLE - After a scoring surge of late, junior guard Jenna Johnson topped of the regular season with her first collegiate double-double, scoring 10 points and bringing down 10 rebounds in a win against San Jose State on March 3.
KEEP THE RECORDS COMING - In addition to USU's team record setting, Ashlee Brown improved on her own marks in the Aggie record books, as she became the program's single-season record holder for free throws made, now with 151 free throws made, passing Sharon Epps' record of 148 from the 1982 season. Brown's 10 rebounds also give her 497 for her career, moving into No. 8 on USU's career rebounds leader, and needing just three boards to become the eighth Aggie player with 500 career rebounds.
BROWN 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. Going 8-for-9 against SJSU, Brown now has 474 career free throws.
AGGIES CLIMB IN THE NCAA STATS - In the most recent NCAA Statistics (March. 1), the Aggies are up to first in the country in three-point field goal percentage (39.2 percent). The Aggies sharp shooting continues as they are 16th in the country in field goal percentage, shooting 44.1 percent. Utah State is also in the top 20 in free throw percentage, standing in fifth and shooting 78.9 percent.
Junior guard Devyn Christensen is now fourth 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 63.
ON THE VERGE - Utah State is on the verge of several school records. USU currently has a free throw percentage of 78.9 percent. The school record is 76.0 percent in 1978. The WAC record for free throw percentage in a season is 76.8 by Hawai`i during the 1997-98 season. 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 90.2 percent, while Brooke Jackson would also break the record as of now, shooting 88.4 percent from the charity stripe. The WAC record for free throw percentage in a season is 88.9 percent by SMU's Kim Brandl during the 1996-97 season.
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.
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 ENDS CONFERENCE PLAY ON TOP - Junior Devyn Christensen ended conference play, leading the WAC in scoring in league games, averaging 20.6 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 sixth in scoring in WAC games, averaging 14.4 ppg. Christensen is also first in free throw percentage (94.7 percent), fourth in field goal percentage (51.5 percent) and third in three point field goal percentage (44.1 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.
AGGIES IN THE WAC STATS - Devyn Christensen is now fourth in the WAC in scoring, averaging 15.4 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 90.2 percent. Brooke Jackson is now second in the WAC free throw shooting (88.4 percent.).
As a team, USU is second behind Fresno State in scoring offense, averaging 72.9 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 +6.9 scoring margin. The Aggies are still first in free throw percentage (78.9). USU is still first in field goal percentage, shooting 44.1 percent this season. Utah State is also first in three-point field goal percentage, shooting 39.2 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 27 games this season, Utah State has used nine t different lineups. Ashlee Brown is the only Aggie to have started all 27 games this season. Jennifer Schlott has started 11 out of 26 games, while Brooke Jackson has been in the starting five 11 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, Franny Vaaulu, Christensen, Johnson and Jackson were in the starting lineup. It was Vaaulu's first career start.
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 - Five players in double-digits, including two with double-doubles propelled Utah State to an 84-71 win over San Jose State Saturday night in women's basketball at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, giving USU its first 20-win season in school history. Saturday was USU's Senior Night and the Aggies sent their six seniors out in style with a big win in front their biggest single-game crowd.
In a pre-game ceremony Saturday, USU said thank you to six senior players, Chelsea Burns, Ashlee Brown, Banna Diop, Brooke Jackson, Maddy Plunkett and Reyneisha Mays, as well as team manager Atlee Zipf.
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 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 262 games for the blue and white and has 109 wins as Aggie head coach, which is first ahead of Fern Gardner (55) on the all-time win list.