USU Women's Basketball Begins 2011-12 Campaign With An Exhibition Against Western New Mexico
Nov. 1, 2011
LOGAN, Utah - - TIP OFF - Utah State women's basketball opens the 2011-12 season with its only exhibition of the season against the Mustangs of Western New Mexico. Tip off time is set for 7 p.m. The Aggies bring back three starters from last season's historic squad that finished the season 18-15 overall and 10-6 in Western Athletic Conference action.
THE OPPONENT - In its only exhibition of the season, Utah State will take on Western New Mexico. The Mustangs are a Division II member that play in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC). Western New Mexico was recently picked to finish last in the 14-team RMAC Preseason Poll. Last season, the Mustangs were 1-25 overall and 1-21 RMAC. Before taking on the Aggies, Western New Mexico will take on Utah Valley in an exhibition on Wednesday, Nov. 2 at 7 p.m.
BRING ON THE RMAC - Both Utah State basketball teams will be taking on teams from the Rocky Mountain Athetic Conference this week. On Friday, Nov. 4, the Aggie women will take on Western New Mexico. On Saturday, Nov. 5, the USU men will face Adams State, also a member of the RMAC. UP NEXT - Following the exhibition against Western New Mexico, the Aggies open the regular season on the road for the first time since the 2006-07 season when USU began the season at Utah Valley. Utah State will take on Wyoming on Friday, Nov. 11 in Laramie at 7 p.m. USU will conclude the brief two-game road trip at South Dakota State on Sunday, Nov. 13 at 1 p.m. (MT). Last season, Utah State started the season slowly losing its first-four games of the season before breaking through to win five-straight games.
ADMISSION - Admission to Utah State's women's basketball games is $5 for adults, $1 for youth. A woman's sports pass is also availbale 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 IN THE PRESEASON POLLS - Utah State women's basketball was selected second in the Western Athletic Conference coaches' poll and third in the media poll. Both predictions are the highest for USU since joining the WAC. Last season, the Aggies were picked seventh in both the coaches' and the media poll.
Senior forward Ashlee Brown made Utah State women's basketball history by becoming the first Aggie to earn WAC Preseason Player of the Year honors when she was awarded the honor by both the coaches and the media. Brown, who averaged 15.2 points per game last season, is the top scorer returning in the WAC. Last season, Brown was the WAC's Newcomer of the Year and earned first-team all-WAC honors.
The Aggies received 40 points in the WAC coaches' poll, including two of the eight first-place votes. Defending WAC regular season-champion, Louisiana Tech, was picked first with 47 points, including five-first place votes. Fresno State, the 2011 WAC Tournament champions, was picked third with 36 points and the final first-place vote. Nevada placed fourth with 33 points, followed by Hawai`i with 22 points. New Mexico State was picked to finish in sixth place with 18 points, while Idaho was just a point behind with 17 points to finish in seventh place. The coaches' poll was rounded out by San Jose State in eighth place with 11 points.
In the media poll, Utah State was voted third with 126 points, including three first-place votes. As with the coaches' poll, Louisiana Tech was picked first with 144 total points and 13 first-place votes. The only difference between the polls was that Fresno State took second-place in the media poll with 129 points and three first-place votes. Nevada earned the fourth spot with 80 points, followed by Hawai`i with 72. The media poll was rounded out with New Mexico State in sixth with 59 points, while Idaho (52 points) and San Jose State (22 points) were picked to finish seventh and eighth, respectively.
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. USU fans can also listen to every game both home and away, via USU's web site.
WHO'S WHO - Utah State returns 10 players from the 2010-11 roster, including three starters in forward Ashlee Brown (15.2 ppg), center Banna Diop (9.5 ppg) and guard Jenna Johnson (6.6 ppg). USU brings back 75% of its offense, including its top three scorers in Brown, Diop and guard Devyn Christensen. The Aggies also welcome back the block leader in Diop (1.88 bpg), and Brown will also be back in the blue and white as USU's leading rebounder, bringing down 251 rebounds (8.4 rpg).
AROUND THE COURT - News and Notes from around the Aggie basketball court.
Last season was the first time in head coach Raegan Pebley's career that she has earned the Coach of the Year accolade. Pebley is also the first female to earn the award since 2004-05 when Rice's Cristy McKinney was named Coach of the Year.
This season, Utah State welcomes six newcomers, including senior transfer Brooke Jackson who comes to Logan from the University of Arizona. USU adds five freshmen in Brooke Beckstead, Xava Grooms, Addison Moore, Elise Nelson and Franny Vaaulu.
The Aggies had 10 WAC wins last season which was the most since the 2008-09 team that had a 9-7 record. The nine wins in 2008-09 was the most for Utah State since joining the WAC in 2005-06.
USU enters its seventh season in the WAC.
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 234 games for the blue and white and has 89 wins as Aggie head coach, which is first ahead of Fern Gardner (55) on the all-time win list.
ACCOLADES FOR ASHLEE - Senior forward Ashlee Brown was the fourth Aggie to earn all-WAC honors and the second to earn first-team accolades. She was also named Newcomer of the Year which is the first time an Aggie has earned that honor. In 2009, current assistant coach Danyelle Snelgro was the first Aggie to be named to the first team. Amber White was named to the all-WAC second-team in 2010, while Ana Pares was earned second-team honors in 2009.
CHRISTENSEN STRONG FROM THE CHARITY STRIPE - Guard Devyn Chirstensen ended the year with the USU record for single-season free throw shooting percentage with 86.1 (105-of-122). She tops the list by almost four percent as Mary Danielson is now in second place with 82.7 percent from the 1981 season. Christensen also nabbed sixth on the single-season record list for three-point field goals percentage at 35.4 behind Amber White's fifth place 2009-10 season shooting 37.5 from behind the arc.
FUN FACTS - Utah State was a member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference from 1918-1937.
THE LAND OF ENCHANTMENT - WNMU is one of two teams from the New Mexico on USU's 2011-12 season as the Aggies will also play New Mexico State twice.