USU Women's Basketball Year In Review
May 5, 2009
LOGAN, Utah -
May 5, 2009
LOGAN, Utah - TIP OFF - Utah State ended one of it most successful season's at the WAC Tournament. The Aggies won their first ever WAC Tournament game with a 59-58 overtime win over Idaho. USU fell to the eventual champions, Fresno State, 57-54 in the semifinals. USU said goodbye to four seniors, Danyelle Snelgro, Ana Pares, Ndoumbe Diop and Shawnta Pope. Snelgro ended her career as one of the most decorated Aggies. She had 1,043 points as an Aggie and is the sixth player to reach the 1,000-point plateau.
SNELGRO TOPS IN THE WAC - Senior guard Danyelle Snelgro ended the season still ahead fellow senior Dellena Criner of Nevada in steals, averaging 2.35 steals per game just ahead of Criner's 2.28 spg. Snelgro was tied for first in steals with 73. In assists, Criner had the edge, averaging 4.50 assists per game. Snelgro was second with 4.13 apg.
GETTING INVOLVED - In Utah State's win over San Jose State on March 5, four Aggies scored in double figures. It was the third time this season that a quartet of Aggies had scored in double figures. The last time was also against the Spartans in San Jose on Jan. 23. The first time it happened was at home against New Mexico State on Jan. 8.
SO YOU WANT TO BE A COACH - Utah State women's basketball players Ndoumbe Diop, Ana Pares, Shawnta Pope and Danyelle Snelgro recently participated in the So You Want To Be A Coach program hosted by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA). The two-and-a-half day annual workshop was held in conjunction with the WBCA National Convention and Women's Final Four in St. Louis, Mo. The So You Want To Be A Coach Program was designed to increase the number of minorities in the coaching profession, by providing a workshop based on educational and professional principles to help those interested in the field. Participants had the opportunity to meet and learn from some high level professionals such as St. Louis head coach Shimmy Gray-Miller, Washington assistant coach Fred Applin, Marist assistant coach Keila Whittington and many others. Participants must have exhausted their final year of basketball eligibility at a four-year institution or have graduated within the past year. In addition, the participant's head coach had to nominate them and must be an active WBCA member. Participants are selected based on their academics, contributions to women's basketball on and off the court, professional resume and a written recommendation from their head coach. The program is made possible through the NCAA Matching Grants for the Advancement of Minority Women Coaches. In addition to the workshop, Diop, Pares, Pope and Snelgro got to attend the NCAA Tournament semifinal games.
AGGIES EARN WAC HONORS - In a season of many firsts, senior guard Danyelle Snelgro continued the trend when she became the first Utah State women's basketball player to earn first-team all-Western Athletic Conference honors as voted on by the league's nine coaches. Senior guard Ana Pares, a native of Provo, Utah, was also honored by being named to the second team. Snelgro, a Altadena, Calif., native, was also named to the WAC all-defensive team. Since joining the WAC for the 2005-06 season, Utah State did not even have a player make the postseason all-WAC team. In the Big West, several players earned honorable mention honors. Snelgro, who is Utah State's all-time steals leader (216) and the sixth player to score 1,000 points (1,017), is the only first-team honoree since the reinstatement of the program during the 2003-04 season. She was also named to the all-WAC Preseason second team. She leads the team in scoring, averaging 14.3 points per game. She is also first in the WAC in assists in conference games, averaging 5.00 assists per game. She ended the WAC regular season with a league-high 80 assists. Pares had a breakout senior season for the Aggies, ending the regular season eighth in league games in scoring, averaging 13.4 points per game. She also ended WAC play second in the league in three point field goals made, averaging 2.31 per game.
USU HANDS OUT AWARDS AT END OF THE YEAR BANQUET -Utah State's women's basketball team held its annual postseason banquet Thursday evening, honoring the 2008-09 team. This season's team saw many firsts, including winning its first Western Athletic Conference Tournament game against Idaho in March. The Aggies compiled a 16-15 overall record this season and ended the campaign with a 9-7 WAC record. USU ended the season tied for fifth which was the team's highest finish since joining the WAC for the 2005-06 season. The Aggies ended the season first in the WAC in scoring defense, holding opponents to 57.9 points per game. With the win against Idaho, USU also advanced to its first WAC Tournament semifinal game. Senior guard Danyelle Snelgro earned both the Team Player and Offensive Player of the Year awards. Snelgro averaged 16.1 points and 4.13 assists per game. In WAC only games, she was fourth in scoring averaging 14.6 points per game, and was first in assists per game, averaging 5.0 apg. Snelgro ends her stellar Aggie career as the all-time steal leader at Utah State with 216 swipes. She also ends her career 1,043 points scored which places her fifth all-time. Fellow senior guard Ana Pares was awarded both the Most Improved Player and the Big Blue Scholarship Fund awards. Pares ended the season second on the team in scoring, averaging 13.4 points per game. In league games, Pares ended the season second in three-point field goals made, averaging 2.31 made per game. Senior guard Danyelle Snelgro ended her USU career by becoming the first Aggie to earn first-team all-WAC honors. Snelgro also earned all-Defensive team honors. Fellow senior guard Ana Pares earned second-team all-WAC honors. The whole team earned the Defensive Player of the Year Award after the Aggies had one of the stingiest defenses in the WAC. USU allowed less that 60.0 ppg and was third in the WAC in blocks per game, averaging 4.13 bpg. Aggie assistant coach Erin Scholz received the Couldn't Have Done It Without You Award, while senior forward Shawnta Pope collected the Excellence in the Classroom. Pope and her three fellow seniors, Snelgro, Pares and Ndoumbe Diop will all be graduating this weekend.
SEASON OF FIRSTS - Utah State continues to have several firsts this season, including sweeping Boise State for the first time since joining the WAC. USU had not even beaten the Broncos in WAC action until the win in Logan earlier this season. When the Aggies defeated Nevada in Reno on Feb. 8, it was the first they had won at the Lawlor Events Center.
MORE FIRSTS - Utah State ended WAC play with a 9-7 conference record, the Aggies will have their best finish ever in the Western Athletic Conference. In 2006-07, USU was 7-9 in the WAC which was good for sixth which was its best finish since joining the league for the 2005-06 season. Last season, the Aggies were 5-11 and finished seventh. In 2005-06, USU was 2-14 which placed it in ninth. USU is guaranteed to finish no worse than 9-7.
300 CLUB - With six assists in the Aggies win over Boise State on Feb. 20, senior guard Danyelle Snelgro became just the second Utah State women's basketball player to reach the 300 club with assists. Snelgro now has 336 career assists. The all-time Aggie leader in assists is Taylor Richards with 371.
1,000 CLUB - Danyelle Snelgro netted a team-high 13 points on March 5, reaching the 1,000 career point plateau with a steal and layup at the 1:25 mark of the first half. She becomes just the sixth member of USU's 1,000 point club and joins former teammate Taylor Richards, the last Aggie to reach the mark a season ago. Snelgro ended her career with 1,043 career points which places her fifth all-time.
CHANGING IT UP - In the first 21 games of the season, the Aggies started the same five for every game. Danyelle Snelgro, Ana Pares, Alice Coddington, Lydia Whitehead and Nicole Johnson started the first 21 games for USU this season. In the 22nd game against Fresno State, head coach Raegan Pebley made a change. Freshman Chelsea Burns made her first start of the season, while Whitehead came off the bench.
SWATTING THE RECORD BOOKS - Several Aggies are forging their way into the Utah State record book, with 56 blocks this season, junior forward Nicole Johnson is already in the top 10 in the all-time single season list. She is now in second, passing Ali Marchant who had 38 blocks in the 2005 season and Jessica Freeman who had 48 in both 2006 and 2005. With 73 steals and 128 assists, senior guard Danyelle Snelgro now in the top 10 in both categories. She is third in steals and fourth in assists. Junior forward Lydia Whitehead is also close to making the top 10 in blocks. Her 31 blocks this season is tied for sixth.
JOHNSON SECOND IN CAREER BLOCKS - With 85 career blocks, junior forward Nicole Johnson is now second in the Aggie record book for career blocks. The all-time block leader is Jessica Freeman (2003-06) who swatted 127 balls for Utah State. This season, Johnson has 56 blocks.
LAST TIME OUT - Friday the 13th proved to be unlucky for the fifth-seeded Utah State women's basketball team as the Aggies run at the Western Athletic Conference Tournament came to an end with a, 57-54, loss to top-seeded Fresno State at the Lawlor Events Center in Reno, Nev. With the loss, USU ends the season with a 16-15 record. Fresno State improves to 23-8 and advances to its second-straight WAC Tournament championship game. Last season, the Bulldogs defeated Boise State to earn their first trip to the NCAA Tournament. The Aggies conclude one of its most successful seasons since the reinstatement of the program before the 2003-04 season. This is the time since the 1978-79 season that USU ended the season above .500. That season the Aggies were 14-10 and 5-8 in the Intermountain Athletic Conference. USU was lead by senior guard Danyelle Snelgro who scored a team-high 11 points in her final game as an Aggie. Sophomore Amber White scored a career-high 10 points, while junior forward Lydia Whitehead also added 10. Sophomore guard Alice Coddington was solid on the boards with 10 rebounds. Coddington also added three steals. Jalessa Ross scored a game-high 21 points for Fresno State, while LaShay Fears added 18. Utah native Joh-Teena Filipe added 11 rebounds.
SNELGRO REACHES CAREER HIGH AGAIN - With 29 points in the win against Nevada on Feb. 8, senior guard Danyelle Snelgro broke her career high in points scored. The 29 points were the most scored by an Aggie this season.
TOP THIEF - With a season-high five steals, senior guard Danyelle Snelgro tied all-time steal leader Margaret Johns (1980-83) with 175 steals. In the win against New Mexico State, Snelgro passed former teammate Taylor Richards (2005-08) who ended her storied Aggie career with 172 steals. She took sole possession of first place with her first steal against Louisiana Tech on Jan. 10. Snelgro now has 216 career steals and 73 this season.
AGGIES IN OPENERS- Utah State began its fourth season in the WAC on Jan. 5 with a loss at Idaho. This was the first year that USU will start WAC play on the road. It is also the first time that the Aggies begin with the Vandals of Idaho. In its first season, USU fell to San Jose State in Logan, 63-51, while losing to Boise State in 2006-07, 80-70. Last season, the Aggies earned their first WAC opener win with a 68-58 win over San Jose State. While this is the first WAC opener against Idaho, USU has opened conference play against the Vandals when both teams were in the Big West. Idaho defeated the Aggies to open the 2003-04 season with a loss to Idaho, 62-51. Since the reinstatement of the program in the 2003-04 season, the Aggies are 1-5 in conference openers.
ENDURANCE AGGIES - Three of the Aggies' five starters are among the leaders in the WAC in minutes played. Danyelle Snelgro was second behind Idaho's Charlotte Otero, averaging 39.68 minutes per game. Ana Pares was third in the WAC in minutes played, averaging 38.35. Alice Coddington averaged 34.68 mpg which places her sixth.
TURNING 21 - The 2008-09 season marks the 21st year of women's basketball at USU, and just the sixth 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 fourth season in the Western Athletic Conference after playing its first two seasons in the Big West Conference.
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.
AGGIES ON THE RADIO/WEB - All Utah State home games can be heard on KLGN (1390 AM) in Logan with Evan Nyman calling the play-by-play and Ashley Rutledge providing color commentary for home games. They can also be heard on the web by going to the Utah State Athletics home page at www.UtahStateAggies.com.
ADMISSION - Admission to Utah State's women's basketball games is $5 for adults, $1 for youth. Season tickets are also available $65 for adults and $10 for youth. 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.
COACH PEBLEY - Head coach Raegan Pebley is entering her sixth season as head coach at Utah State, which is the longest tenure in the program's history. Five games into last season, Pebley overtook the lead for the most games coached in Utah State history (116). She has now coached 171 games for the blue and white. Pebley now has 58 wins as Aggie head coach which is first ahead of Fern Gardner (55) on the all-time win list.
AGGIES AGAINST EVERYONE - The Aggies rounded out non-conference play against Utah Valley on Jan. 3. Portland State was the fourth team from the Big Sky Conference that the Aggies have faced this season. USU is 2-2 against the Big Sky with a win against Northern Arizona and Eastern Washington and a loss to Idaho State. USU is 0-1 against the Northeast Conference after a loss to Monmouth, while the Aggies hold a 1-0 record against the Southland Conference with a win against Texas State. Finally, the Aggies are 0-1 against the West Coast Conference after a season-opening loss to Portland. USU is now 0-2 against the Mountain West Conference with a loss to BYU on Dec. 13 and a loss to UNLV on Dec. 30. USU played its fifth and final Big Sky Conference team when it defeated Weber State.
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.