USU Women's Basketball Concludes Home Stand Against UC Riverside Friday
Nov. 24, 2011
LOGAN, Utah - TIP OFF - After defeating Boise State, 97-86, the day before Thanksgiving, the Utah State women's basketball team will conclude the week hosting UC Riverside on "Black Friday." Aggie fans can avoid the long shopping lines by coming to the Spectrum to watch USU take on the Highlanders on Friday, Nov. 25 at 7 p.m. Utah State is 4-1 this season and has won three-straight games.
THE OPPONENT - UC Riverside is 2-2 against Utah State in four meetings. The two teams have not met since the Aggies were a member of the Big West Conference. The last time the Highlanders and the Aggies met was 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.
UC Riverside is 1-4 this season. In their last meeting, the Highlanders lost a close battle with Louisiana-Lafayette, 59-56, on Nov. 23. UCR is led by three players who average in double figures. TreShont Nottingham is first on the team in scoring, averaging 13.2 points and 4.6 rebounds per game. Natasha Hadley brings down 12.2 ppg, while Jessica Ogunnorin averages 10.6 ppg.
HOME OPENERS - Utah State is now 8-14 in home openers and 3-6 under Coach Pebley after the Aggies defeated Weber State, 73-63 on Nov. 16.Prior to the win over the Wildcats, the last time the Aggies won a home opener was a 67-58 win against in-state rival Utah in 2009. Last season, USU fell to Dixie State in its home and season opener, 71-67. Under Coach Pebley, Utah State is 1-2 against Weber State in home openers.
QUICK START - After starting last season with an 0-4 record, the 2011-12 team is happy about the quick 4-1 start. With the win, the Aggies improve to 4-1 this season and have won three-straight games. The 4-1 start is USU's best start since the 1978-79 season with the Aggies started the year 5-0. Boise State falls to 3-2 with the loss. USU has won the last three meetings with the Broncos.
SHARP-SHOOTING SCHLOTT - Sophomore guard Jennifer Schlott already has three double-digit scoring games this season. She scored 12 against Wyoming on Nov. 11 and 10 against Weber State on Nov. 16. In the game against Boise State, she scored a career-high 17 points. Last season in 32 games, she only scored in double figures three times.
CAREER HIGHS - The Aggies set several new career highs in their win against Boise State on Nov. 23. Sophomore guard Jennifer Schlott set a new career with 17 points against the Broncos. Senior guard Brooke Jackson also set a career-high with 27 points.
BIG SKY BOUND - Following the game against UC Riverside, Utah State will begin a tour of the Big Sky Conference. The Aggies will begin in the Big Sky State taking on both Montana (Nov. 30) and Montana State (Dec. 2). USU will conclude the road swing at Idaho State on Dec. 10. USU will not be done with the Big Sky Conference as the Blue and White hosts Northern Arizona on Dec. 19. The Aggies are 1-0 against the Big Sky Conference this season with a win against Weber State on Nov. 16.
AGGIES IN THE WAC - After the first two weeks of action, senior forward Ashlee Brown continues to lead the WAC in scoring, averaging 21.0 points per game. She is also second in rebounding (10.2 rpg) and steals (2.6 spg). Senior guard Brooke Jackson is third in free throw percentage, shooting 90.6 percent from the charity stripe (23-of-24) so far this season.
WINNING THE TURNOVER BATTLE - The Aggies are 2-1 this season when leading the turnover battle. In Utah State's win against Boise State on Nov. 23, the Aggies only had 10 turnovers compared to 19 by Boise State. The 10 turnovers were the fewest by USU this since season opener against Wyoming on Nov. 11 when Utah State only gave up the ball nine times.
STRONG FROM THE STRIPE - A key to Utah State's win against Boise State on Nov. 23 was its strong free throw shooting. The Aggies were 22-of-24 from the charity stripe. Senior Ashlee Brown was 6-for-6, while senior Brooke Jackson was 6-of-8 in the win. For the game, USU was 22-of-24 (91.7 percent), making more free throws than Boise State attempted (13). This season, USU is 117-of-139 from the charity stripe (84.2 percent).
AGAINST THE MOUNTAIN WEST - Wyoming was the first of two Mountain West Conference teams that the Aggies will face this season, including taking on former Western Athletic Conference rival Boise State two times. Utah State is now 2-0 against the Mountain West. The Aggies have one more battle with the Mountain West Conference when USU takes on the Broncos on Dec. 22.
BROWN HONORED BY WAC AGAIN - Senior forward Ashlee Brown was named the Verizon Western Athletic Conference Women's Basketball Player of the Week for Nov. 14-20. This is the second-straight week that Brown has earned WAC Player of the Week. This is the fourth honor of her Utah State career.
The senior is the first Utah State women's basketball player to earn WAC Player of the Week honors in back-to-back weeks. She is the first player since Danyelle Snelgro to win the award twice in one season when she earned the honors twice in 2009.
Brown, a Chandler, Ariz., native, averaged 21.0 points on 53 percent shooting, grabbed 11.5 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game as the Aggies went 2-0 last week. Brown led Utah State to a 73-63 home win against Weber State and a 69-64 road win at UC Irvine, pacing the Aggies in scoring in both games. Against the Wildcats, the senior scored 21 points and brought down nine boards while also nabbing four steals. In the win against the Anteaters, Brown posted her third double-double of the season with 21 points and 14 rebounds, one shy of her career high. Brown was unstoppable in the first half, scoring 13 of USU's first 15 points.
LAST TIME OUT - Senior guard Brooke Jackson's career-high 27 points paced the Utah State women's basketball team to a 97-86 win over former Western Athletic Conference rival Boise State Wednesday at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
For the first time this season, senior forward Ashlee Brown did not lead the team in scoring, but she did reach double-digits for the fifth-straight game with 14 points. Junior guard Jennifer Schlott added a career-high 17 points, while senior forward Maddy Plunkett scored 11 all in the first half. Junior guard Devyn Christensen had her first double-digit scoring game of the season, adding 12 points. Junior guard Jenna Johnson, who made her first start of the season scored eight points and added two rebounds.
Boise State was led by 30 points by Nicole Brady who also led all players with 11 rebounds. The Broncos won the battle of the boards 40-26. Utah State is 2-1 this season when it is out-rebounded by its opponent.
UP NEXT - Following the game this week against UC Riverside, the Aggies head to the Big Sky State for a pair of games. USU will travel to Missoula to take on Montana on Wednesday, Nov. 30 at Montana at 7 p.m. USU will then make the drive to Bozeman to face Montana State on Friday, Dec. 2 at 7 p.m.
CAREER HIGHS FROM BROWN - Senior forward Ashlee Brown has had double-doubles in both of Utah State's games this season. She also added a career-high 31 points in the Aggies' loss to South Dakota State on Nov. 13. She also set a career high with six steals in the loss to the Jackrabbits.
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.
SPREADING THE WEALTH - In five games this season, 13 different Aggies have seen the court. Utah State had really spread out the minutes in the first two games. Ashlee Brown leads the team with 160 minutes, while Brooke Jackson has played in 127 minutes. Freshman Xava Grooms saw her first action as an Aggie against South Dakota State on Nov. 13.
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.
AGAINST THE BIG WEST - UC Riverside is the second Big West team that Utah State has faced this season. The Aggies defeated UC Irvine, 69-64, on the road on Nov. 19. UC Riverside is the second and final Big West team that USU will play this season when the Aggies and the Highlanders meet on Nov. 25.
HOME SWEET HOME - Utah State played three of its first four games away from the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. After traveling to Wyoming and South Dakota State, the Aggie opened their home schedule on Wednesday, Nov. 16 against Weber State with a win. USU concludes a brief two-game home stand on Saturday against UC Riverside before hitting the road to play three-straight Big Sky Conference teams, Montana, Montana State and Idaho State.
GETTING THE START - Eleven different Aggies saw action in Friday's game against Wyoming. Junior guard/forward Chelsea Burns saw her first start since the 2008-09 season. Senior guard Brooke Jackson got her first start as an Aggie. Sophomore guard Jennifer Schlott got her first career start in the Blue and White, playing 27 minutes and scoring 12 points.
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.
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
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 239 games for the Blue and White and has 93 wins as Aggie head coach, which is first ahead of Fern Gardner (55) on the all-time win list.