USU Women's Basketball Celebrates 2006-07 Season
April 12, 2007
LOGAN, Utah - Utah State's women's basketball team celebrated the 2006-07 season with its annual end of the year banquet held Friday, April 6 at the Copper Mill Restaurant. The evening featured dinner, award presentations, showing of the team highlight video, and speeches from head coach Raegan Pebley and team captain Taylor Richards.
Utah State finished its fourth season since reinstatement and its second season in the Western Athletic Conference with an 11-18 overall record and a 7-9 ledger in WAC play. The Aggies, who were picked ninth in the preseason poll, finished sixth in the standings. USU was the No. 6 seed for the WAC Tournament, falling to third-seeded Nevada, 61-60, in the quarterfinals.
The sixth-seed matches USU's highest seeding for a conference tournament under head coach Raegan Pebley. Utah State was a sixth-seed for the Big West Tournament in 2005, after being an eight-seed for the Big West Tourney in 2004. Last season in the WAC Tournament, the Aggies were the ninth-seed, losing to eighth-seeded Idaho, 70-59, in the play-in game.
Nonetheless, the Aggies surpassed last season's overall win total (3-24) and last year's WAC victory total (2-14), as well as exceeding preseason expectations as USU was picked ninth in both WAC preseason coaches and media polls.
"The team prepared to be better than last year and we have a record and statistics that measure their improvements," Pebley said. "I am proud of how this team showed the ability to stay focused on the process of achieving their goals."
USU loses three seniors, guard Camille Brox, and forwards Brittany Hagen and Brittany Phillips. The trio were the first senior class to be at Utah State all four years, as they were part of Pebley's original recruiting class as USU reinstated women's basketball for the 2003-04 season after discontinuing the program after the 1987 season. All three leave their mark in the USU record book and a lasting foot print on the program.
"It is definitely a milestone to have them be here all four years," Pebley said. "I'm proud of all three, who will all graduate with either their undergraduate or master's degree. They have made tremendous accomplishments off the court as well as on the court. Having players here for four years is a definite benefit to the program, especially with the leadership examples they set for the younger players."
Forward Brittany Phillips finished her career at the No. 6 spot on USU's Career Scoring List, ending with 892 points, bumping April Hatch (1984-85) to seventh with 877 points, as well as former teammate Ali (Aird) Marchant (2003-06) to No. 8 with 874 points.
Phillips garnered three of the team awards: Excellence in the Classroom, Team Player Award and Most Valuable Player Award.
"All of our team awards were very well deserved. We don't always present a Most Valuable Player Award. We want the MVP award to mean that we truly had someone who stood out consistently as a most valuable player and we want the most improved award to go to the player that has truly improved the most. It is not a popularity contest. All of these awards were earned and were very well deserving."
Guard Taylor Richards received the Off-Season Conditioning Award and Most Outstanding Offensive Player Award.
Richards also eclipsed the 800 point milestone, currently at 850 career points and moving up to the No. 10 position on the career scoring list. She will enter her senior season needing 13 points to pass Mary Danielson (1981-82) at No. 9 with 862 points.
Richards, who is the career assists record holder with 296 assists, also has sole possession of the No. 8 spot on USU's career steals list with her 113 career steals needing 11 more steals to crack the top three on the steals list.
Forward Jenny Gross was the Big Blue Scholarship Fund Award recipient, while guard Ana Pares was the Most Improved Player Award honoree, and guard Danyelle Snelgro was presented with the Most Outstanding Defensive Player Award. Team manager Atlee Zipf was given the Fan Appreciation Award and fellow team manager Carly Bleadorn received the Couldn't Have Done It Without You Award.
The Aggies' other two departing seniors Camille Brox and Brittany Hagen also received awards with Brox receiving the Spark Player Award and Hagen sharing the Excellence in the Classroom Award with Phillips.
Brox finishes her USU career No. 3 on the career games played list with 109 games and No. 8 on the career assists list with 156.
Hagen is No. 2 on the USU career games played list with 111, the only player to play in all 111 games since the program's reinstatement in 2003-04. Hagen also leaves as the Aggies' career three-pointers made record holder with 109 treys and No. 2 on the career three-point percentage list (109-333, 32.7 percent), as well as tied for No. 9 on the career blocked shots list with 38. Off the court, Hagen is a two-time recipient of the USU Joe E and Elma Whitesides Scholar-Athlete Award and earned academic all-WAC honors last season.
In addition to leaving her mark on the points scored list, Phillips, who was the first signee for USU and scored the Aggies' first basket when the program was reinstated in the 2003-04 season finished her Aggie career No. 4 on the USU career games played list with 106 games. She also is the career record holder for career three-point percentage (75-201, 37.3 percent), No. 2 in both career three-pointers made and career free throw percentage (76.6 percent, 209-273). Phillips was also named the WAC Player of the Week on Feb. 12 after scoring career highs of 25 points and 12 rebounds in the Aggies' win at New Mexico State. She was an honorable mention all-Big West selection as a sophomore in 2004-05. Off the court, Phillips was a two-time recipient of the USU Joe E and Elma Whitesides Scholar-Athlete Award and an academic all-WAC honoree in 2005-06.
Seven Aggie players will receive Joe E and Elma Whitesides Scholar-Athlete Awards at the Whitesides luncheon next Tuesday, April 24. Gross, Hagen, Phillips and Richards were joined on the Whitesides list by freshmen teammates Nicole Johnson, Indira Kaljo and LeeAnn Palo.
2006-07 Utah State Women's Basketball Awards