Aggie Women's Basketball Begins Road Trip at Montana on Wednesday
Nov. 28, 2011
LOGAN, Utah - - TIP OFF - Utah State women's basketball takes its four-game winning streak on the road this week, traveling to the Big Sky State. The Aggies will take on Montana on Wednesday, Nov. 30 at 7 p.m. at Dahlberg Arena in Missoula. USU will then travel to Bozeman to face Montana State on Friday, Dec. 2 at 7 p.m.
THE OPPONENT - Montana holds a 6-2 record against Utah State. The last time the two teams met was last season when the Lady Grizzlies defeated the Aggies in Logan, 65-62, on Nov. 20, 2010. In that game, Utah State was led by 17 points from Bana Diop, while Ashlee Brown added 16 points. Lexie Nelson and Lexie De Boer both scored 13 points, while Katie Baker scored 11 points.
This season, the Lady Griz are 2-3 with wins against Montana Tech and Idaho. On Nov. 27, Montana fell to Portland on the road, 55-46. The Lady Griz are led by Baker who averages 15.0 points and 6.4 rebounds per game. Kenzie De Boer is second on the team in scoring, averaging 9.6 points and 4.2 rebounds per game.
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.
AGGIES TAKE ON FORMER ASSISTANT - Former USU assistant coach Tricia Binford will take on her former squad when the Aggies take on Montana State on Friday, Dec. 2. After defeating the Aggies in 2007, Binford and the Bobcat are 2-0 against her former mentor, USU head coach Raegan Pebley. Montana State defeated USU two years in a row with wins in 2006 in Bozeman (71-53) and a win in Logan (71-49) in 2007. The Bobcats hold an 8-2 all-time series lead, including 3-2 on the Aggies' home court. Montana State is currently 4-2 this season with wins over Portland, Montana Western, College of Idaho and Valparasio.
TAKING CHARITY - USU has earned plenty of points from the charity stripe this season. The Aggies have made 58 more free throws than their opponents this season. Utah State is 136-of-165 from the charity stripe this season for an amazing 82.4 percent. Aggie foes are 78-of-110, which is good for 70.9 percent. Junior guard Devyn Christensen is shooting 91.7 percent in free throws (11-of-12) to lead the team. Senior forward Ashlee Brown has drained the most free throws, making 42-of-53.
AMONG THE NATION'S BEST - Utah State fourth in the nation in free-throw percentage (82.4 percent) behind the country's leader Richmond (85.7 percent). USU is also 18th in the NCAA statistics in three-point field goal percentage (38.5 percent). Arizona is first in the country (50.6 percent). Ashlee Brown is 10th in the nation in double-doubles this season with three. She is also 31st in the country in points per game, averaging 19.7 ppg.
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.
WELL-ROUNDED PLAYER - Ashlee Brown is not only leading the conference in scoring, but she is also among the leaders in several other categories. She is second in rebounding, bringing down 9.8 rebounds per game. She is also second in blocked shots with 1.17 bpg. Brown is fifth in steals with 2.17 spg.
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 - 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.
FIRST TO FIVE - USU is currently first in the WAC in the WAC as it is the first team to five wins with a 5-1 mark. The Aggies have won four-straight games. Fresno State is in is second with a 4-2, winning three straight. San Jose State is the only team in the league with a an 0-6 start. The Spartans have lost 16-straight games dating back to last season. TOPPING THE WAC - Ashlee Brown continues to be first in the league in scoring, averaging 19.7 points per game. Senior forward Maddy Plunkett is first in three-point field goal shooting with a 54.5 shooting percentage. Brooke Jackson is second in field goal percentage, shooting 58.8 percent.
QUICK START - After starting last season with an 0-4 record, the 2011-12 team is happy about the quick 5-1 start. The Aggies have won four-straight games. The 5-1 start is USU's best start since the 1978-79 season with the Aggies started the year 5-1.
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.
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.
LAST TIME OUT - Junior guard Devyn Christensen drained a three with seven seconds left to break a 68-68 tie and lift the Utah State women's basketball team to a 71-68 win over UC Riverside on Friday at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
The Aggies have now won four-straight games to improve to 5-1 this season. Utah State is off to its best start since the 1978-79 season when USU started 5-1. The very tough UC Riverside team fell to 1-5 with the loss.
For the second-straight game, Christensen scored in double figures, scoring a team-high 15 points, adding three rebounds and three steals. Senior forward Ashlee Brown scored 13 points and added eight rebounds, while senior guard Brooke Jackson scored 11 points and had a season-high six assists. Brown also tied a career high with three blocks in the win.
UC Riverside had five players in double figures, out-scoring the Aggies 45-40 in the second half. The Highlanders were led by 15 points off the bench from Jazzmin Lewis. Both Natasha Hadley and TreShont Nottingham had 12 points. Hadley completed the double-double with 11 rebounds to lead all players.
UP NEXT - This week, 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. USU has only one game the following week traveling to Pocatello on Dec. 10 to take on Idaho State.
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.
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.
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 240 games for the Blue and White and has 94 wins as Aggie head coach, which is first ahead of Fern Gardner (55) on the all-time win list.