Utah State Women's Basketball Closes Out the Regular Season at UTSA Saturday
March 8, 2013
SAN ANTONIO - TIP OFF - Utah State women's basketball (17-11, 14-3 WAC) will conclude the regular season at UTSA on Saturday, March 9 at 5 p.m. (MT). The Aggies have won three-straight games, including a 73-56 win against Texas State on Thursday. USU opened Western Athletic Conference action against UTSA on Dec. 29 with a 79-66 overtime win in Logan. The win was the fourth of the season for the Aggies, as Utah State has gone 13-3 since then.
During the final week of the regular season, seeding for the upcoming WAC Tournament in Las Vegas is still up for grabs. With one game left in the regular season, Utah State and Seattle are tied for first place with matching 14-3 league records. Seattle ends the season with Idaho in Seattle on Saturday.
AROUND THE CORNER - Utah State will play in its final WAC Tournament, beginning Wednesday, March 13. The tournament begins on Tuesday, March 12 with two women's games and two men's games. The No. 7 seed will face the No. 10 seed on March 12 at 1 p.m. (MT), while the No. 8 seed takes on the No. 9 seed at 3:30 p.m. (MT). Quarterfinal games begin at 1 p.m. (MT) on Wednesday, March 13. The final will be played on Saturday, March 16 and will be televised on ESPNU at 1 p.m. (MT).
WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR MAKES - Utah State really turned its season around when the calendar changed from 2012 to 2013. The Aggies struggled in November and December with a 5-8 record. With the turn of the calendar, USU began to heat up and has a 12-3 record in the 2013 portion of the regular season. The Aggies were a stellar 6-2 in January and 4-1 in February. USU is already 2-0 in March.
SCOUTING UTSA - Utah State won the only other meeting between the Aggies and the Roadrunners on Dec. 29, 79-66, in overtime in Logan. This was the conference opener for both teams. The Aggies have gone 13-3 since that first December meeting with UTSA.
UTSA does not have a player averaging in double figures but are lead offensively by Kamra King who averages 8.6 points and 3.0 rebounds per game. Simone Young scores 8.3 ppg, while Ashley Spaletta scores 6.5 ppg off the bench for the Roadrunners.
The Roadrunners are one of only three teams in the WAC above .500 with a 15-13 record. Seattle holds a 17-9 record with Utah State taking a 17-11 mark into the final regular-season game. UTSA allows the fewest points in the WAC (56.2), but only scores 60.2 which is ninth in the league.
AGGIES VS UTSA IN THE WAC 2012-13 USU 79, UTSA 66 OT (Logan) Total 1-0EVEN STEVEN - Despite a game-high 24 points from Devyn Christensen, the Aggies had a very even game against UTSA. Nine different players scored a point in the game with Jennifer Schlott scoring 13 and Jenna Johnson adding 11. All 12 players that dressed saw time in the game as USU was able to get some key players some rest.
HERE SHE GOES AGAIN - Senior guard Devyn Christensen broke yet another Utah State record. With her fifth point against Texas State on March 7, she broke the USU single-season scoring record. She now has 562 points this season. Sharon Epps set the record with 542 points in 1982. She has already set the USU record for field goals attempted in a season with 493. The previous record was 449 by Mary Danielson in 1982. Jenna Johnson is close to the single-season steal record with 87 so far this season. The record of 94 was set by Carol Garrison in 1981.
FANCY FRESHMEN - The play of freshmen Haylee Thompson and Makenlee Williams against Texas State on March 7 was a microcosm of the season as both have shown improvement throughout the season. Thompson had a career-high eight points and tied a career high with five rebounds. Williams also had a team-leading seven boards for the Aggies. Williams has started 23 of USU's 28 games this season, while Thompson has earned a start in nine games. Williams is the leader in the WAC in three-point field goal percentage at 40.5 percent.
HARD TO BEAT AT HOME - For the first time in school history, the Aggies ended conference play undefeated at home with a perfect 9-0 record. Despite a slow start losing its first two home games to Montana and UC Irvine, Utah State won the next 10 at home to finish 10-2 at the friendly confines of the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
DOWN TO THE WIRE - With one game remaining, many of the seeds in the upcoming WAC Tournament are still unknown. Idaho has secured the third seed, while New Mexico State will be the eighth seed. UT Arlington has locked in the ninth seed with Texas State standing in the 10th spot. Utah State can earn the first seed with a win over UTSA. If Seattle loses to Idaho, the Aggies will hold the top seed as well. There is a log jam for the 4-7 seeds with UTSA, Denver, Louisiana Tech and San Jose State.
AGGIES TOPS IN THE NATION - For the third-straight week, Utah State women's basketball remains in first place in the current NCAA statistics in free throw percentage, shooting 80.2 percent from the free throw line.
The Aggies have hit 451-of-562 free throws this season and their 80.2 percent is also tops in the WAC. USU also has three of the top free throw shooters in the conference led by senior guard Devyn Christensen who shoots a league-leading 92.2 percent. She is now fifth in the nation from the charity stripe. Christensen has missed only nine of the 115 free throws she has attempted this season. Junior guard Jennifer Schlott is now tied for second in the WAC, shooting 85.1 percent (120-of-141), while senior guard Jenna Johnson is fourth, shooting 82.9 percent (126-of-152).
As a team, USU is 18th in the country and second in the WAC in three-point field goals made per game (7.5).
Utah State is also seventh in the nation in scoring offense (76.7 ppg) and seventh in steals (12.7 ppg). Individually, Christensen is also sixth in three-point field goals per game, making 3.29 threes a game. Christensen is also among the nation's leaders in scorers, standing 19th with 20.1 points per game. Johnson is also 17th in the nation and second in the conference in steals per game (3.11 spg).
Freshman guard Makenlee Williams is first in the WAC in three-point field goal percentage, shooting 40.5 percent from beyond the arc, while sophomore forward Franny Vaaulu is second in the league in field goal percentage, shooting 55.1 percent.
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 14th 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 1,470 points during her four years. Guard Jenna Johnson is third in career steals with 210. Despite fighting injuries during her career center Banna Diop ended her Aggie career third in blocks with 118.
TOUGH D - The 11 points allowed in the first half against Louisiana Tech were the fewest since Utah Valley scored 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.
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 9-0 in league play. The Redhawks are 8-0 with one home games remaining. Overall, Utah State is 10-2 at home this season. Last season, the Aggies were 12-3 at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, which is a school record.
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.
ALL 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.
WAC TO STREAM BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT FROM LAS VEGAS - The WAC will stream 16 games via the internet on WACSports.tv from the 2013 WAC Basketball Tournament at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. The only games not shown will be the men and women's championships due to contractual obligations with ESPN. Individual tournament games may be purchased for $7.95 each. The tournament starts Tuesday, March 12, with four first round games. The women's quarterfinals will be played on Wednesday while the men's quarterfinals will be held on Thursday. Friday features two women's semifinal games and two men's semifinal games. More information and how to subscribe to any of these video streaming events can be found at www.WACSports.tv. 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).
BEST OF THE BEST - This year's senior class has had the best four-year record since Utah State's re-instatement during the 2003-04 season. Devyn Christensen, Banna Diop, Pualei Furtado and Jenna Johnson have had a four-year record of 69-53 record so far with one regular-season game remaining.
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 1,470 career points.
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 210 career steals. She is just six 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 20.1 points per game. She is behind San Jose State's Ta'Rea Cunnigan (20.3 ppg) and Texas State's Diamond Ford (21.1 ppg). Jenna Johnson is tied for seventh, averaging 14.2 ppg, while Jennifer Schlott is tied for 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 92.2 percent. She has only missed nine of the 115 free throws that she has attempted. Freshman Makenlee Williams is first in the league in three-point free throw percentage, shooting 40.5 percent from beyond the arc. Johnson is third in the conference in steals, averaging 3.11 spg, while Christensen is fifth with 2.61 spg. Jennifer Schlott is second in assists with 4.21 apg. Franny Vaaulu is second in field goal percent, shooting 55.0 percent from the field.
As a team, USU is first in free throw percent (80.2 percent). The Aggies are second in blocked shots (4.32 bpg). Utah State is still first in scoring (76.7 ppg) and second in field goal percentage (40.8 percent). Utah State is now second in steals (12.71 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 13-0 this year. In 10 of USU's 14 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 6.9 points per game. In WAC games, she scores 8.0 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)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 12-1 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 28 games this season, Utah State has had eight different starting lineups. The lineup of Jennifer Schlott, Devyn Christensen, Jenna Johnson, Makenlee Williams and Franny Vaaulu have started 10 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. On senior night, USU added another starting five with Pualei Furtado joining Christensen, Johnson, Williams and Vaaulu.
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.
LAST TIME OUT - Behind an efficient shooting night from senior guard Devyn Christensen, Utah State women's basketball cruised to a 73-56 win over Texas State in San Marcos, Texas on Thursday. Christensen led the offensive charge with 24 points which was her 13th 20-point game of the season. The senior scored her 24 points in only 15 minutes of action.
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.