USU Women's Basketball Travels Utah For WNIT First Round Thursday Night
March 13, 2012
LOGAN, Utah - TIP OFF - For the second-straight season, the Utah State women's basketball team will play in the Women's National Invitation Tournament (WNIT), traveling to the University of Utah on Thursday, March 15 at 7 p.m. (MT).
The Aggies are 21-9 this season, advancing to the semifinals of the Western Athletic Conference Tournament in Las Vegas, Nev. The 21 wins is a school record for Utah State, breaking last season's record of 18-15. Utah will be the second Pac-12 that USU has faced in the WNIT, defeating Arizona in the first round a year ago.
Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for youth and are on sale now at www.Utahtickets.com. There is also free video feed available at www.utahstateaggies.com.
WNIT HISTORY - USU defeated Arizona, 103-95, last season for the first USU win in a postseason game since the AIAW Championship in 1977. The Aggies' 103 points were the most points scored USU since a 96-39 win against Southern Idaho in 1984. The Aggies fell in the second round to BYU 102-63 in Provo, giving USU a 1-1 WNIT record.
USU is the only team from the WAC to earn a spot in the WNIT. Utah is one of five Pac-12 teams to make the WNIT along with Colorado, Washington, Arizona State and Oregon State.
AGGIES IN THE WNIT 2010-11 First Round USU 103, Arizona 95 (at Logan, Utah) Second Round BYU 102, USU 63 (at Provo, Utah) Overall Record 1-1WNIT FIRST ROUND OPPONENT - The Utes lead the all-time series, 29-2, over the Aggies. The two teams did not meet in the regular season this season. The last time the two teams met was on January, 1, 2011 when Utah defeated Utah State, 73-61, in Salt Lake City. USU's last win over Utah was a 67-58 win to open the 2009-10 campaign. Utah State's other win against Utah came on Feb. 28, 1975, 69-55.
Utah is 15-15 overall this season. The Utes have made five appearances in the WNIT (1979, 1984, 1999, 2007 and 2010) with a 3-8 overall record. Utah went 1-1 during each of their last two appearances in 2007 and 2010. In 2010, Utah defeated Saint Mary's before falling to eventual WNIT champion California in the second round.
The Utes are led by Michelle Plouffe who averages 14.0 ppg and 8.0 rpg. As a team, Utah averages 58.7 ppg, while allowing 55.8 ppg.
WHAT'S NEXT - The winner of the game between Utah State and Utah will take on the winner of the Washington vs. Cal Poly. The Huskies and the Mustangs will meet on Wednesday, March 14 at 7 p.m. (PT). The second-round game will be played March 17-19 at a time to be determined.
AGAINST THE BEEHIVE STATE - Utah State ended non-conference play with a 2-1 record against teams from the Beehive State USU earned a 73-63 win against Weber State on Nov. 16. The Aggies then fell to BYU 73-65 on Dec. 17. USU improved to 2-1 against the state of Utah with a 61-43 win against Utah Valley on Jan. 7.
BROWN NAMED TO ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM - Utah State senior forward Ashlee Brown was named to the Western Athletic Conference Women's Basketball all-Tournament team, which was announced Saturday evening after the WAC Championship at the Orleans Arena at Las Vegas, Nev.
Brown, a native of Chandler, Ariz., becomes the first USU women's basketball player to collect WAC all-Tournament accolades in the Aggies' seven years in the conference. The senior forward posted a pair of double-doubles with 17 points and 12 assists in second-seeded USU's first-round win over Nevada on Wednesday. In the Aggies' loss to third-seeded Louisiana Tech Friday, Brown notched 24 points and 16 rebounds.
Joining Brown on the all-Tournament team was Idaho's Alyssa Charlston, Louisiana Tech's Jasmine Bendolph, along with Rosie Moult and Ki-Ki Moore from WAC Tournament champion Fresno State. Moore was also named the Tournament MVP, becoming the fourth Fresno State player to earn the honor in the five years. Fresno State defeated LA Tech, 89-61, in the championship game.
WAC TOURNAMENT HISTORY - The Aggies played in their seventh WAC Tournament. Utah State is 3-7 in the tournament with an overtime win in the quarterfinals against Idaho in 2009 and a quarterfinal win over New Mexico State in 2011. USU's third win came against the Wolf Pack on March 7. 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 2011-12 #2 USU 75, #7 Nevada 66 (at Las Vegas, Nev.) #3 Louisiana Tech 73, #2 USU 63 Overall Record 3-7
AGGIES IN THE NCAA STATS - Utah State dropped to third in the country in three-point field goal percentage, according to the latest NCAA statistics, released on Monday. Utah State is third in the nation in three-point field goal percentage (38.7 percent). The Aggies are 162-of-514 from beyond the arc. Richmond is first in the nation (39.0). USU is also third in the NCAA statistics in free throw field goal percentage (79.3 percent). Delaware is first in the country (80.7 percent).
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.
BROWN DISHES OUT CAREER-HIGH ASSISTS - Ashlee Brown dished out a game and career-best 12 assists, tying for second in school history, becoming the ninth Aggie player to distribute 12 helpers in a game. The last player to have 12 assists in a game was LaRonda Poydras in 1986 against Pepperdine. Brown has had 29 assists in the last three games for USU. The senior forward also missed a triple-double with a team-best eight rebounds. Brown's double-double was her 11th of the season, breaking last year's season-best of 10.
JOHNSON TIES CAREER HIGH - Junior Jenna Johnson tied her career high with 17 points in the WAC Tournament quarterfinal. She had previously scored 17 points on the road against Fresno State on Feb. 18. She has scored in double-figures in six of the last eight games.
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 with 18. The Aggies now have improved to 21-9 this season.
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 162 free throws made, passing Sharon Epps' record of 148 from the 1982 season. Brown's 14 rebounds against Louisiana Tech in the WAC Tournament also give her 521 for her career, moving into No. 7 on USU's career rebounds leader.
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 281 career free throws.
ON THE VERGE - Utah State is on the verge of several school records. USU currently has a free throw percentage of 79.3 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 89.6 percent, while Brooke Jackson would also break the record as of now, shooting 89.1 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 15.3 points per game. Ashlee Brown is fifth in the league in scoring, averaging 15.1 points per game. Brown is second in the league in rebounding with 9.0 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 89.6 percent. Brooke Jackson is now second in the WAC free throw shooting (89.1 percent.).
As a team, USU is second behind Fresno State in scoring offense, averaging 72.8 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 (79.3). USU is still first in field goal percentage, shooting 44.3 percent this season. Utah State is also first in three-point field goal percentage, shooting 38.7 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 30 games this season, Utah State has used nine different lineups. Ashlee Brown is the only Aggie to have started all 30 games this season. Jennifer Schlott has started 11 out of 30 games, while Brooke Jackson has been in the starting five 14 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, Vaaulu, 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 - A ferocious second-half comeback came up just short as the second-seeded Utah State women's basketball team dropped a heartbreaker to third-seeded Louisiana Tech in the semifinals of the Western Athletic Conference Tournament, 73-69, Friday at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nev.
Trailing by as many as 12 points in the second half, the Aggies were able to chisel away at the Louisiana Tech lead. With 31 seconds remaining in the game, a three-point play by senior guard Brooke Jackson was able to cut the lead to 71-69, but USU was not able to get any closer as the Lady Techsters held on for the win.
Louisiana Tech will advance to their third-straight WAC Tournament championship game. The Lady Techsters will take on the winner of the game between top-seeded Fresno State and fourth-seeded Idaho.
Utah State got a stellar game from senior forward Ashlee Brown who recorded her 12th double-double of the season with a game-high 24 points and a career-high 16 rebounds. She also added four assists and career-high four blocks in the loss. Jackson added 12 points and four boards in the loss, while junior guard Devyn Christensen and sophomore guard Jennifer Schlott both scored 10 points.
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 264 games for the blue and white and has 110 wins as Aggie head coach, which is first ahead of Fern Gardner (55) on the all-time win list.