Aggie Women Take on Top-Seeded Colorado State in the Mountain West Quarterfinals Tuesday
March 11, 2014
LAS VEGAS, Nev. - TIP OFF - After a first-round win in the 2014 Reese's Mountain West Basketball Championships, the No. 8 seed Utah State women's basketball team will take on No.1-seeded Colorado State on Tuesday, March 11 at 1 p.m. (MT) at the Thomas & Mack Center hosted by UNLV. The Aggies defeated New Mexico in the first round 69-66 behind a 29-point performance by senior guard Jennifer Schlott. The Aggies have now won four-straight games, including winning their final three games of the regular season. Overall, Utah State is 15-15 overall and 8-10 in Mountain West action. Colorado State is 23-6 overall and ended the MW season with a 15-3 record. CSU's only conference losses came against Fresno State, San José State and Wyoming.
THE OPPONENT - Colorado State holds a 12-9 series lead over the Aggies, including winning both games during the regular season. Prior to meeting during the regular season, the last time that the two team's met was in 1987. CSU won the meeting in Fort Collins, 88-78, on Jan. 15. The Rams also captured the meeting in Logan, 100, 75, on Feb. 12.
The Rams are first in the Mountain West in scoring margin, winning their games by an average of 11.4 ppg. Colorado State is also first in scoring defense allowing only 60.5 ppg. The Rams are one of the most balanced teams in the conference this season. Sam Martin leads the team in scoring, averaging 11.9 ppg which is good for 16th in the league. A.J. Newton is tied for 19th in scoring, averaging 11.1 ppg. Gritt Ryder is tied for second in assists behind Jennifer Schlott. Ryder averages 4.7 helpers per game.
FOLLOWING THE CHAMPIONSHIP ACTION - All 10 Mountain West Women's Basketball Championship games will be broadcast. The first round, quarterfinals and semifinals will be streamed live on the Mountain West Network (TheMW.com). The championship game will air live on CBS Sports Network, beginning at 8 p.m. (MT).
SCHLOTT DOMINATES THE CHARTS - Senior guard Jennifer Schlott became the eighth member of the 1,000-point club at Utah State. Schlott, who already has 762 points this season, now has 1,546 points in her Aggie career. The last Aggie to join this club was Devyn Christensen who scored 1,551 in her illustrious Utah State career. Schlott is now in second all-time, passing Jerrie McGahan (1977-80) who scored 1,353 points. She is just five points from tying Christensen's career scoring record of 1,551 points.
EVENING OUT THEIR RECORD - Behind a four-game winning streak, the Aggies have evened out their overall record to 15-15. This is the first time since a loss to Boise State on Jan. 18 that USU has had a .500 record. After the loss to the Broncos, the Aggies were 8-8.
WHEN THE SUN IS OUT - The win against New Mexico in the first round was only Utah State's second during the day. With the win, the Aggies are now 2-7 in day games this season. Utah State's other day win came against San José State on Jan. 4.
TOURNEY TIME - Since the re-instatement of the women's basketball program during the 2003-04 season, USU has played in two Big West Tournaments and eight Western Athletic Conference Tournaments. USU was 0-2 in the Big West Tournament and ended its time in the WAC with a 4-8 tournament record. Last season in the WAC Tournament, the Aggies were the No. 2 seed, advancing to the semifinals before falling to eventual champions, Idaho, 84-82. This is the Aggies fourth-straight tournament in Las Vegas. USU's final three WAC tournaments were held at the Orleans Arena. Overall, the Aggies have played six tournaments in the state of Nevada heading into this season with three WAC Tournaments being held in Reno.
Of the current teams in the Mountain West, USU has faced three in WAC Tournaments. Utah State has faced Nevada twice, as well as Fresno State. USU and Boise State met once in the WAC Tournament. Nevada is 1-1 against the Aggies with a win in the 2007 tournament and loss in the 2012 tournament. Fresno State is 2-0 against USU with wins in both 2009 and 2011. Boise State defeated USU in its only WAC Tournament meeting in 2008.
The eight seed is not the lowest the Aggies' have ever been as they were the ninth seed in the 2006 WAC Tournament in Reno. Both the USU men and women earned the No. 8 seed in this year's tournament.
LOOKING AT THE BRACKET - No. 1 Colorado State (23-6, 15-3 MW) The Rams captured the MW regular season championship with only three losses in conference play to Fresno State, Wyoming and San José State. The Rams won the crown in 2001. Head coach Ryun Williams and the Rams are first in the Mountain West in scoring margin, winning their games by an average of 11.4 ppg. The very balanced Colorado State squad has three players in the top 15 in field goal percentage in the MW, led by Sam Martin who is third shooting 50.7 percent this season. CSU won both games against the Aggies during the regular season.
No. 2 Fresno State (19-10, 13-5 MW) Fresno State is perfect in MW tournament action, going 3-0 in the Bulldogs' first season in the league en route to winning the 2013 championship. The Bulldogs captured the only meeting between the two teams. Taylor Thompson is 10th in the league in scoring (13.7 ppg) and second in steals (2.1 spg).
No. 3 Nevada (17-12, 12-6 MW) Nevada was picked to finish 10th in the preseason poll and had a very strong conference season. The Wolf Pack are playing in only their second MW Championship. Nevada is led by Danika Sharp who is 13th in the league in scoring, averaging 12.4 ppg. Mimi Mungedi is first in blocks, averaging 1.7 bpg. Nevada won both meetings against the Aggies this season.
No. 4 Boise State (17-12, 12-6 MW) The Aggies and the Broncos have a very close connection as USU head coach Jerry Finkbeiner's son, Ben, is an assistant for Gordy Presnell and the Broncos. Miquelle Askew is the Broncos' leading scorer, averaging 13.1 ppg, which is good for 12th in the league. Boise State won both meetings this season, including a solid 83-62 win in Boise.
No. 5 Wyoming (19-10, 10-8 MW) Wyoming enters the MW Championships on a three-game losing streak. The Cowgirls are led by Kayla Woodward who is third in the league in scoring, averaging 16.8 ppg. Fallon Lewis leads the league in rebounding, averaging 9.6 rpg. The Aggies captured both meetings this season against Wyoming.
No. 6 San Diego State (13-16, 9-9 MW) San Diego State (2010, 2012) earned its second title two seasons ago. The Aztecs are led by Cierra Warren who is fourth in the league in scoring, averaging 15.5 ppg. Warren is first in the conference in field goal percentage, shooting 55.1 percent. USU and SDSU split games this season both winning on their home court.
No. 7 UNLV (13-18, 9-9 MW) The Lady Rebels defeated the Aggies' twice in a pair of close games. UNLV has captured the Mountain West Championship one time. The Lady Rebels are led by Alana Cesarz who is sixth in the league in scoring, averaging 14.3 ppg.
SCHLOTT SMASHES MOUNTAIN WEST RECORDS - Despite the loss against Fresno State on Feb. 22, history was made as Jennifer Schlott broke Kim Smith of Utah's Mountain West record for single-season scoring. Smith scored 655 points during the 2005-06 season, while Schlott now has 791 points this season. She broke the record with a jumper in the second half. Schlott also set the Utah State single-season, passing Devyn Christensen who scored 643 last season.
Schlott set the MW record for points in conference games with 489 points, averaging 27.2 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 also broke the scoring record in league contests, averaging 27.2 points per game. UNLV's Linda Fröhlich currently held that record, averaging 21.1 ppg in 14 MW games during the 1999-2000 season. Schlott is on pace to set the Mountain West record for scoring average overall as well as Fröhlich averaged 21.6 ppg overall during 1999-00 campaign. Schlott also set the MW record for field goals made in a season with 265.
Mountain West Single-Season Leaders Name, School Year Points Jennifer Schlott, Utah State 2013-14 791 Kim Smith, Utah 2005-06 655 Aubrey Vandiver, Wyoming 2010-11 625 Kim Smith, Utah 2004-05 606 Linda Fröhlich, UNLV 1999-00 604SCHLOTT SETS SINGLE-SEASON ASSIST RECORD - With seven assists against UNLV on Feb. 15, Jennifer Schlott broke her own record of 144 which she achieved last season. She now has 174 assists this season, which sets the Aggie single-season record, passing Charisse Bremond who had 169 assists in 1985.
LAST TIME AGAINST COLORADO STATE - Utah State women's basketball suffered a 100-75 loss to Mountain West-leading Colorado State Wednesday night at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum in USU's annual Play4Kay game, wearing pink socks, shoelaces and headbands.
Utah State is now 5-2 in Play4Kay games at home. With the loss, the Aggies slid to 10-13 overall and 4-8 in MW play. Colorado State won its eighth in a row in improving to 19-4 overall and 11-1 in league play.
Senior guard Jennifer Schlott led the Aggies with 21 points, adding six assists to her school record career assists mark, now with 382 career helpers. Schlott now has 138 assists this season, needing just six more assists to tie her career-high for single-season assists of 144.
Sophomore guard Makenlee Williams netted 18 points, in her second game back in action after injury, making her first start back. Both Schlott and Williams have posted double-figures in all the games they've started this season. Sophomore guard Stephanie Bairstow added nine points to go with a team-high seven rebounds. A total of 11 different Aggie players scored.
DID YOU KNOW?? - Jennifer Schlott has now earned five MW Player of the Week honors. She is the first person since Utah's Leilani Mitchell during the 2007-08 season to earn the award five times. She has a total of six Player of the Week awards after earning the honor once last season in the WAC.
KEEPING IT UNDER 70 - Utah State has a magic number when deciding wins and losses. USU is a perfect 10-0 when allowing less than 70 points in a game. The Aggies only have four 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 and 84-80).
SCHLOTT NAMED LIEBERMAN AWARD CANDIDATE - Utah State women's basketball senior guard Jennifer Schlott has been named one of the final 22 candidates for the Nancy Lieberman Award, 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.
The Aggies' starting point guard has started every game this season and has scored in double figures in every game. She is first on the team and in the Mountain West in scoring, averaging 26.1 points per game, which is also fourth in the nation. She is also first in the MW in assists, averaging 6.1 apg. The senior is the only player in the Beehive State and in the Mountain West to be named to the list. Schlott has earned Mountain West Player of the Week honors four times this season, and recently set both the Utah State and the Mountain West single-season scoring record with 731 points so far this season.
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, Wyoming's Kaitlyn Mileto, Fresno State's Bree Farley and Boise State's Miquelle Askew and Deanna Weaver are the only six players to reach the 30-point mark in league games. Schlott has had 10 in conference games and has had 12 this season.
SCHLOTT UP TO FOURTH IN THE NATION IN SCORING - USU is 28th in the NCAA statistics in scoring offense, averaging 77.0 ppg. Oregon leads the nation in scoring with 93.5 ppg. The Aggies are having another stellar season from the charity stripe, standing 13th in the nation (76.7 percent). The Aggies are 34th in steals per game, averaging 9.9 spg. Sacramento State is first in the nation with 12.5 spg.
Individually, senior guard Jennifer Schlott is still fourth in the country in points per game (26.3 ppg). Baylor's Odyssey Sims leads the country in scoring, averaging 29.6 ppg. Junior guard Elise Nelson is 28th in the nation in assist/turnover ratio (2.38).
MAKING CHANGES TO THE STARTING LINEUP - The Aggies have now had 12 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 29 games. On senior night, both seniors Schlott and Turner joined Bairstow, Nelson and Williams in the starting five.
WINNING THE FIRST HALF - Utah State has shown that taking a lead into the locker room is crucial. The Aggies are 13-2 when leading at half time. USU is only 2-13 when trailing after the first 20 minutes. USU's only wins when trailing at half time came against Utah on Nov. 19 when the Aggies trailed the Utes 37-32 at the half. The other win came against New Mexico in the MW Championship on March 11 when the Lobos led 48-44 at the break.
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.
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 first in scoring offense (77.6 ppg) and field goal percentage (42.5 percent), the Aggies are also first in free throw percentage (76.3 percent). The Aggies are also first in steals (10.1 spg), second in assists (15.7 apg) and third in turnover margin (+2.3). In conference games only, Utah State is second in scoring offense (75.4 ppg). USU is first in free throw percentage (76.7 percent) and blocks (4.3 bpg).
Individually, senior guard Jennifer Schlott is still first in the MW in scoring, averaging 26.4 ppg. Due to her injury, sophomore guard Makenlee Williams has fallen out of the rankings, despite averaging 16.0 ppg. The Aggies have three players in the top 10 in the conference in steals per game led by junior guard Elise Nelson (2.4 spg) and Schlott (1.9 spg) who are first and third, respectively. Franny Vaaulu is tied for eighth with 1.7 spg. In league only games, Schlott is still first, scoring 27.2 ppg in MW games. Nelson is first in steals (2.1 spg). Vaaulu is seventh in blocks and sophomore forward Tijiana Djukic is eighth in MW games, averaging 1.1 and 0.9 bpg, respectively. Stephanie Bairstow is tied for ninth with 0.8 bpg.
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.
SHATTERING 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 30 games 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.
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 507-269. 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.
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.
LAST TIME OUT - Senior guard Jennifer Schlott scored 29 points in leading eighth-seeded Utah State to a come-from-behind 69-66 win against ninth-seeded New Mexico in the opening round of the 2014 Reese's Mountain West Basketball Championships held here Monday at the Thomas & Mack Center on the UNLV campus. Utah State evens its season record at 15-15 with the win as it has now won four-straight games and five of its last six overall. USU also improved to 5-10 all-time in conference tournaments. New Mexico concludes its season with an 11-19 record as it lost all three of its matchup with USU during the year.
The Aggies improved to 10-0 on the season when allowing less than 70 points as it limited New Mexico to just 18 second-half points after yielding 48 points in the first 20 minutes of play.
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.