Aggie Women's Basketball Heads to Golden State to Face UC Riverside Thursday
Nov. 14, 2012
LOGAN, Utah - TIP OFF - Utah State women's basketball continues its lengthy road trip, traveling to the Golden State for a pair of games. The Aggies (0-1) will take on UC Riverside (1-1) on Thursday, Nov. 15 at 3 p.m. (MT). USU will play its third road game of the week against Loyola Marymount on Saturday, Nov. 17 at 3 p.m. (MT).
THE OPPONENT - Utah State is 3-2 in five meetings against UC Riverside. Last season, the Aggies defeated the Highlanders, 71-68, in Logan. In a close game, Utah State was led by 15 points off the bench from Devyn Christensen. UC Riverside had five players in double-digits in scoring, including 15 points from Jazzmin Lewis.
The Highlanders are 1-1 this season with a home loss to Gonzaga, 60-53, and a road win against Pepperdine, 79-71. TreShont Nottingham leads the team in scoring, averaging 24.5 points per game. Brittany Crain averages 9.0 ppg and 9.0 rebounds per game so far this season.
Prior to last season, the two teams had not met since the Aggies were a member of the Big West Conference. Before last season, the Highlanders and the Aggies met on Feb. 17, 2005 when USU defeated UCR, 71-55 in Logan. USU won both meetings that season. The last time the Highlanders defeated the Aggies was Feb. 19, 2004 when UCR beat Utah State, 66-56 in Riverside.
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.
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.
GETTING IN THE GAME - In the first game of the season, 11 of the 12 active players on the roster got into the game. The only player who did not play was junior Tanja Steed who is still recovering from injury. Freshman Makenlee Williams earned her first start as an Aggie, while fellow freshman Stephanie Bairstow also saw time in the season opener. Newcomer Cristal Turner played 11 minutes in her first game in the blue and white. Freshman Haylee Thompson also added 12 minutes in the first game of the season.
ROAD WARRIORS - For the second-straight season, Utah State started the season on the road after defeating Wyoming last season. This year, the Aggies have a treacherous road schedule to begin the season. USU will play its first six games on the road this season, including playing two games at the Great Alaska Shootout in Anchorage, Alaska. After returning home for one home game on Dec. 1 against Montana State, the Aggies will hit the road again to face two of its toughest games of the season at BYU and at Notre Dame. The fighting Irish were the national runners-up and are ranked No. 6 in the ESPN/USA Today Preseason Coaches' Poll.
AROUND THE WAC - Early in the season, four of the 10 teams have earned wins so far. UTSA and Texas State lead the way with 2-0 records, while New Mexico State and San Jose State holding 1-0 records. The remaining six schools have are still looking for their first wins this season. The Aggies still have two games remaining this week.
UP NEXT - After games at UC Riverside and Loyola Marymount, the Aggies head to the Final Frontier for the Great Alaska Shootout. USU will take on Prairie View A&M on Tuesday, Nov. 20 at 8 p.m. The winner of the game between USU and Prairie View A&M will play at 7 p.m. (MT). The loser will play at 5:30 p.m. (MT).
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.
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.
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.
LAST TIME OUT - Utah State women's basketball dropped the 2012-13 season opener, 78-62, at Utah Valley Monday in Orem, Utah. The Aggies were not able to recover from first-half shooting woes despite much better second-half shooting.
With the loss, the Aggies fall to 2-8 in season openers since the program's re-instatement. Utah State is now 0-1 this young season, while Utah Valley evens its record at 1-1.
Utah State was led by 16 points from senior guard Devyn Christensen, who scored 11 of her points in the final 20 minutes. Fellow senior guard Jenna Johnson added 13 points. Both had four of the Aggies' game-high 19 steals. In her USU debut, senior guard Cristal Turner was the Aggie leader on the boards with seven.
Utah Valley's Sammie Jensen led all scorers with 31 points and 14 rebounds. Kaycee Mansfield also added a double-double with 16 points and 10 boards for the sharp-shooting Wolverines. For the game, UVU shot 50.9 percent from the field.
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.
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.