Second-Seeded Aggie Women Face Third-Seeded Idaho in WAC Tournament Semifinals Friday
March 14, 2013
LAS VEGAS. Nev. - TIP OFF - Utah State women's basketball (18-12, 14-4 WAC) advances to semifinals of the Western Athletic Conference Tournament for the third-straight season, taking on third-seeded Idaho on Friday, March 15 at 1 p.m. (MT) at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. The second-seeded Aggies advanced to the semifinals after defeating seventh-seeded Denver on Wednesday, 78-65.
CRACKING OPEN THE WAC RECORD BOOKS - With 330 points during conference play, senior guard Devyn Christensen inked her name into the WAC record books. The 330 points is tied for 10th all-time in single-season points scored in WAC games, tying her with Amy Burnett of Wyoming (1995) and Amisha Carter of Louisiana Tech (2004). Her 50 three-point field goals made is seventh all time. Nevada's Ashley Bastian set the record with 57 treys during league play in 2003. She set the WAC record with three-point field goal attempts with 154, passing Bastian's record of 144 in 2003. Christensen's 91.2 percent free throw percentage during conference games is tied for fourth with Boise State's Lauren Lenhardt in 2011. SCOUTING IDAHO - #3 Idaho (15-15, 11-7 WAC): Idaho and Utah State have an even 12-12 record against each other, but the Aggies hold a 12-5 record against the Vandals since both teams joined the WAC. The Aggies captured both games this season, including a solid, 81-50, win in Logan. In Moscow, USU needed a come-from-behind performance to beat Idaho, 91-85. The teams have met twice in the tournament with the Vandals beating the Aggies, 70-59, in 2006. USU won its first WAC Tournament game against Idaho in 2009 in overtime, 59-58.
The Vandals earned their second-straight appearance in the semifinals with a thrilling 57-55 win over San Jose State in the quarterfinals. Overall, the Vandals have made the semifinals three times in 2010, 2012 and 2013. Like Utah State, Idaho has never made the finals. Alyssa Charlston leads USU in scoring with 13.7 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. They score 65.0 points per game, while allowing 65.2.
AGGIES VS IDAHO IN THE WAC 2005-06 Idaho 54, USU 51 (in Moscow) USU 63, Idaho 53 (in Logan) 2006-07 USU 78, Idaho 70 (in Logan) USU 57, Idaho 53 (in Moscow) 2007-08 Idaho 70, USU 64 (OT) (in Moscow) Idaho 67, USU 55 (in Logan) 2008-09 Idaho 71, USU 63 (in Moscow) USU 70, Idaho 64 2OT (in Logan) USU 59, Idaho 58 OT (in Reno, Nev. @ the WAC Tournament) 2009-10 USU 57, Idaho 55 (in Moscow) Idaho 54, USU 53 (in Logan) 2010-11 USU 70, Idaho 64 (in Logan) USU 67, Idaho 51 (in Moscow) 2011-12 USU 78, Idaho 70 (in Moscow) USU 85, Idaho 63 (in Logan) 2012-13 USU 91, Idaho 85 (in Moscow) USU 81, Idaho 50 (in Logan) Overall Record: 12-5WHAT 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 3-1 in March.
SINGLE-SEASON SENSATIONS - Several Utah State players are finding a spot in the Aggie single-season record book. With 131 assists this season, Jennifer Schlott is fourth in single-season assists. She is seven from tying Alice Coddington for third (138), as Coddington achieved the feat in 2011. With 93 steals this year, Jenna Johnson is just one takeaway from tying Carol Garrison for the single-season record. Garrison had 94 steals in 1981. Devyn Christensen has already set the record for points in a season with 590 this season. Johnson's 134 free throws made is currently third as Ashlee Brown set the record with 166 last season.
GETTING IT DONE - Utah State's eight three pointers made in the first half of its WAC Tournament quarterfinal game tied the most this season with San Jose State on Feb. 9. USU ended the game with 13 three pointers which was just two shy of the WAC Tournament record of 15 set by Fresno State against Louisiana Tech last season.
THE REST OF THE BRACKET - #1 Seattle (19-9, 15-3 WAC): Top-seeded Seattle captured a quarterfinal win over eighth-seeded New Mexico State, 77-53. In the win, the Redhawks were led by 24 points from Ashley Ward and 23 from Kacie Sowell. Seattle captured the first game the season against USU in overtime, 71-68, on Jan. 3. Utah State returned the favor in Logan with a 67-62 win. SU is first in the WAC in field goal percentage (.423).
#5 Louisiana Tech (14-16, 9-9 WAC): Fifth-seeded Louisiana Tech advanced to the semifinals for the 12th-straight season, advancing every season that it has been in the WAC. The advanced to the semifinals with a palindromic win 85-58 win over fourth-seeded UTSA, Louisiana Tech is 14-4 all-time against Utah State despite the fact that the Aggies swept the season series for the first time since joining the WAC for the 2005-06 season. The Lady Techsters are led by the one-two punch of Whitney Frazier (11.7 ppg) and Brittany Lewis (11.4 ppg). The Aggies are 0-2 in the tournament against the Lady Techsters.
STEALING HISTORY - With four steals against Denver on March 13, senior guard Jenna Johnson is now tied for second in career steals. She now has 216 career steals which ties her with 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.
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 590 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 529. The previous record was 449 by Mary Danielson in 1982. Jenna Johnson is close to the single-season steal record with 93 so far this season. The record of 94 was set by Carol Garrison in 1981.
WAC TOURNAMENT HISTORY - The Aggies are playing in their eighth and final WAC Tournament. Utah State is 4-7 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 Nevada last season as well as the win against Denver on Wednesday. Six of the eight WAC Tournaments that USU has played in have been in the state of Nevada, playing three in Reno and three in Las Vegas. The other two tournaments in which the Aggies participated were in Las Cruces on the campus of New Mexico State. Utah State has had the dubious distinction of having lost to the eventual champion three of the last four seasons, losing to Fresno State in 2009 and 2011 and Louisiana Tech in 2010.
There will no be a repeat champion this season as Fresno State was the reigning WAC Tournament champions.
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 Utah State 69 (at Las Vegas, Nev.) 2012-13 #2 USU 78, #7 Denver 65 (at Las Vegas, Nev.) Overall Record 4-7SHARP SHOOTERS - In the Aggies win over Denver in the quarterfinals of the WAC Tournament, Utah State was sharp from beyond the arc. The Aggies made 13-of-25 threes in the game. It was second only to the 14 made in a loss to New Mexico State on Feb. 16. Devyn Christensen and Makenlee Williams both sunk four three pointers in the win. Jennifer Schlott went from fourth to eighth in the league in three-point free throw percentage from 34.7 percent to 35.6 after making two of three.
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.
AGGIES TOPS IN THE NATION - For the fourth-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 473-of-590 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 92.3 percent. She is now third in the nation from the charity stripe. Christensen has missed only nine of the 117 free throws she has attempted this season. Junior guard Jennifer Schlott is third in the WAC, shooting 82.7 percent (129-of-153), while senior guard Jenna Johnson is fourth, shooting 82.7 percent (134-of-162).
Utah State is also fifth in the nation in scoring offense (76.5 ppg) and seventh in steals (12.5 ppg). Individually, Christensen is also eighth in three-point field goals per game, making 3.17 threes a game. Christensen is also among the nation's leaders in scorers, standing 22nd with 19.8 points per game. Johnson is also 17th in the nation and second in the conference in steals per game (3.07 spg).
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.
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 70-54 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 1,498 career points.
TOPS IN THE WAC - Devyn Christensen is currently third in the WAC in scoring, averaging 19.7 points per game. She is behind San Jose State's Ta'Rea Cunnigan (19.8 ppg) and Texas State's Diamond Ford (21.5 ppg). Jenna Johnson is tied for seventh, averaging 14.4 ppg, while Jennifer Schlott is eighth in scoring with 14.2 ppg. Christensen, who broke the WAC's single-season record for free throw percentage last season, is first this season, shooting 92.3 percent. She has only missed nine of the 117 free throws that she has attempted. Freshman Makenlee Williams is first in the league in three-point free throw percentage, shooting 42.4 percent from beyond the arc. Johnson is third in the conference in steals, averaging 3.10 spg, while Christensen is fifth with 2.50 spg. Jennifer Schlott is second in assists with 4.37 apg. Franny Vaaulu is second in field goal percent, shooting 54.8 percent from the field.
As a team, USU is first in free throw percent (80.2 percent). The Aggies are second in blocked shots (4.30 bpg). Utah State is still first in scoring (76.6 ppg) and second in field goal percentage (41.1 percent). Utah State is now second in steals (12.27 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 14-0 this year. In 10 of USU's 14 WAC wins this season, the Aggies have allowed under 70 points. Utah State is 4-12 when allowing more than 70 points.
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 13-2 when scoring more in the first half. The only games that Utah State lost when leading at half time was an overtime loss to UC Irvine on Dec. 18 and an eight-point loss to UTSA on March 9. USU was ahead 41-36 at halftime and lost in overtime, 71-70.
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.
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. 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.
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.
- 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 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 liten 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.