Aggie Women's Basketball Opens Season With Exhibition Against New Mexico Highlands Friday
Oct. 31, 2012
LOGAN, Utah - TIP OFF - After weeks of practice the Utah State women's basketball team will take to the court for its one and only exhibition against New Mexico Highlands on Friday, Nov. 2 at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. The Cowgirls fell to Southern Utah on Oct. 29, 83-62, in Cedar City. New Mexico Highlands will face Utah Valley in Orem on Wednesday, Oct. 31.
THE OPPONENT - New Mexico Highlands began the 2012-13 season on Monday, Oct. 30, with an exhibition game on the road against the Thunderbirds of Southern Utah. The Thunderbirds, from the Big Sky Conference, were a tough test for the Cowgirls and came away with the 83-62 victory at Centrum Arena in Cedar City, Utah.
The Cowgirls were led by guard Alyssa Lopez who scored a team leading 18 points on the night. She played a game high 38 minutes, adding seven rebounds, three assists, and a steal to her night's totals.
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.
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.
UP NEXT - Following its only official exhibition, Utah State will take on Utah State will begin a season-high stretch of six-straight road games in the month of November. USU will open the regular season at Utah Valley on Monday, Nov. 12 as the Jerry Finkbeiner era officially begins. Following the game against the Wolverines, the Aggies will travel to the Golden State for a pair of games in California. In Nov. 15, USU will take on UC Riverside and will face UC Riverside on Nov. 17.
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 2012-12 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.
AGGIES IN THE PRESEASON POLLS - Utah State women's basketball was selected first in both the Western Athletic Conference coaches' poll media poll. This is the first time that the Aggies have ever been picked first in a preseason poll. Last season, USU was second in the coaches' poll and third in the media poll. In 2010-11, the Aggies were picked seventh in both the coaches' and the media poll.
Senior guard Devyn Christensen became the second-straight Utah State women's basketball player to earn WAC Preseason Player of the Year honors when she was awarded the honor by both the coaches and the media. Last season, forward Ashlee Brown was named preseason all-WAC. Last season, Christensen was named to the second-team in the coaches' poll.
"For me as a head coach at Utah State, it's a wonderful place to come to. I'm looking forward to the WAC. It's just one year in the WAC for us, but I'm looking forward to the competition. I've played similar teams in the past and I have a lot of respect for the conference. We played Louisiana Tech last year when I was at Oral Roberts. Probably my biggest shock of the pre-season is seeing that we're voted No. 1 by the media and the coaches. There's a lot of respect that this program has in the conference, so I'm just happy to inherit it. Devyn Christensen is obviously our go-to player coming into the season. I look forward to the competition and the travel with the WAC and down to Las Vegas in March for the conference finals. There's a lot of unknowns: new coaching staff and new philosophy. But our girls are excited, and we're ready to go," USU head coach Jerry Finkbeiner said.
The league will have a new champion as Fresno State captured the regular season and tournament titles. The Aggies received 78 points in the WAC coaches' poll, including seven of the 10 first-place votes. Louisiana Tech was a close second with 75 points and the three remaining first-place votes. In its first season in the WAC, Denver was picked third with 55 points, while fellow newcomer Seattle U was fourth with 48 points. Idaho was just behind Seattle U in fifth place with 47 points. Texas State, another new team to the WAC, is sixth with 41 points, while San Jose State. Rounding out the coaches' poll is New Mexico State in eighth (27), and newcomers UTSA (26) and UT Arlington (17) in ninth and 10th, respectively.
In the media poll, Utah State was voted first with 165 points, including nine first-place votes. Louisiana Tech was also second in the media poll with 145 overall points and four first-place votes. Six different teams earned at least one first-place points. Denver was picked third with 135 points and one first-place vote, while Seattle U was fourth with 111 points with two first-place votes. Texas State was fifth with 105 points and one first-place vote, while Idaho was sixth with 91 points. San Jose State was picked seventh with 70 points, followed by UTSA (59), New Mexico State (56) and UT Arlington (53). NMSU earned the final first-place vote.
ALL-WAC HONOREES - Last season, senior Ashlee Brown and junior guard Devyn Christensen both earned first-team all-WAC honors and Brown was also the WAC Defensive Player of the Year and was named to the all-Defensive team. Brown was the first Utah State player to earn first-team all-WAC honors two-straight seasons. In 2009, 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). Christensen was 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.
LAST YEAR'S EXHIBITION - Last season, Utah State also faced a team from New Mexico when it faced Western New Mexico. The Aggies beat the Mustangs, 89-44, at the Spectrum. Utah State was led by Ashlee Brown who scored 15 points in 16 minutes. Devyn Christensen added 10 points in nine minutes of action.
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 listen 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.
AROUND THE COURT - News and Notes from around the Aggie basketball court.
Christensen led the league in scoring in WAC games, averaging 20.6 points. She also set the Utah State single-season free throw percentage record (86.1).
Utah State ranked third in the nation in free throw percentage (79.6), fourth in three-point field goal percentage (38.4), 19th in field goal percentage (43.6), 21st in scoring (72.4) and 23rd in
Utah State welcomes nine newcomers, including four transfers that will have to sit out the 2012-13 season. Freshmen Makenlee Williams, Haylee Thompson and 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 takes the reigns as Utah State's ninth head women's basketball coach. Finkebeiner added assistant coaches Micha Thompspon and Robert Donaldson. Stu Sells enters his second season as an assistant at Utah State.