Dec. 3, 2012
LOGAN, Utah - TIP OFF - Utah State women's basketball (2-5) returns to the road this week for a pair of road games. On Tuesday, Dec. 4 at 7 p.m., the Aggies will take on in-state rival, BYU (3-4), at the Marriott Center. USU will get some screen time as the game will be shown live on BYUtv. Robbie Bullough and Kristen Kozlowski will be the announcers for the game.
Following the game against the Cougars, the Aggies will travel to the Hoosier State to face No. 5 Notre Dame in South Bend. The Irish are the highest ranked team that USU has faced since the re-instatement.
THE OPPONENT - BYU holds an overwhelming 30-3 overall record against Utah State in 33 meetings. The last time the Aggies defeated the Cougars was Dec. 7, 1978 when USU handed BYU an 80-72 loss in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
Both the Aggies and the Cougars have lost their last two games. BYU fell to Washington State (67-52) and Creighton in overtime (65-62). BYU won its first two games at home against Weber State and on the road against Dartmouth. The Cougars also have a road win against Arizona.
Jennifer Hamson scored 23 points in the Cougars season-opening win against Weber State. Since then the 6-7 center has been with the BYU volleyball team that has advanced to the Sweet Sixteen. The middle blocker helped the Cougars defeat Oklahoma in three sets in the second round. Lexi Eaton is second in scoring, averaging 17.4 ppg. As a team, BYU averages 62.1 ppg, while allowing only 60.7 ppg.
CHRISTENSEN REACHES LANDMARK - In the game against PVAMU, Devyn Christensen became the seventh Aggie to break the 1,000-point plateau. She now has 1,069 points in her Utah State career, which places her fifth on the all-time scoring list. Utah State's all-time leader in scoring is Jerrie McGaham (1977-80) who scored 1,353 points as an Aggie. The last two to reach this plateau were Danyelle Snelgro (2006-09) with 1,043 and Taylor Richards (2005-08) with 1,138 points.
JOHNSON'S BIG DAY - In the Aggies' loss to Montana State on Dec. 1, senior guard Jenna Johnson had a break out day. Her 20-points were a career-high for the guard, who also tied a career high with 10 rebounds and a had a career-high eight steals. The double-double was her second of the season and the third of her career. So far this season, Johnson has had her most productive season as an Aggie, averaging 12.9 points and 6.7 rebounds per game.
HOME OPENERS - Utah State fell to 3-7 in home openers after its 71-65 loss to Montana State on Dec. 1. The Aggies home wins came against Weber State (2011), Utah (2009) and Idaho State (2006).
AGAINST THE BEEHIVE STATE - Since the re-instatement, the Aggies are an even 15-15 against the Beehive State, including this season's losses to Utah Valley and Utah. USU is looking for a win against BYU on Dec. 4 to avoid going winless against the state for just the third time in the last 10 years. In USU's first season back in 2003, the Aggies went 0-2 against the state with losses to Southern Utah and Weber State. The 2006-07 season was the only other season where the Aggies went winless against the state with losses to both Utah Valley and Weber State.
AROUND THE WAC - The WAC as a whole continues to struggle early this season. New Mexico State leads the way with a 5-2 record, while newcomer UTSA is 5-3. All 10 teams have earned a win with both Idaho and UT Arlington standing at 1-6. Currently, the Aggies are in eighth with a 2-5 record. UTSA is the only team in the conference with a positive scoring margin (+13.1). NMSU has the longest current winning streak at four games, followed by Denver with three and Louisiana Tech with two.
THE STARTERS - This season, whoever has been in the starting five has averaged 56.1 points per game of the 70.9 ppg that the team averages. The Aggies tend to get the bulk of the steals from the starting five with 81 of the 103 total steals coming from the starters. The starters so far this season have shot 40.3 percent from the field (139-345) and 80.9 percent from the free throw line (76-of-94).
AROUND THE CORNER - Utah State will hit the road again to take on its last Beehive State team, BYU, on Tuesday, Dec. 4 at the Marriott Center at 7 p.m. That game will be televised on BYUtv. The Aggies will then be head to the Hoosier State to face No. 5 Notre Dame at Purcell Pavillion at the Joyce Center on Saturday, Dec. 8. The Irish were national runners up last season.
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. Fans can follow along with the games and keep up with what the Aggies are up to.
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.
BEST OF THE BUNCH - In the second NCAA statistics release, senior guard Devyn Christensen is also ninth in points per game (23.0 ppg) and 12 in steals per game (3.86 spg). Christensen is also sixth in three pointers made per game (3.57). Fellow senior Jenna Johnson is 23rd in steals per game (3.57).
As a team, Utah State is ninth in the country in free throw percentage, shooting 80.3 percent from the charity stripe. USU is 56th in the NCAA in scoring offense (70.9) and three pointers per game (6.6). As a team, the Aggie defense is sixth in the country in steal, averaging 14.7 spg.
TOPS IN THE WAC - Devyn Christensen is still first in the WAC scoring, averaging 23.0 points per game. Jenna Johnson is 13th, averaging 12.9 ppg after her big 20-point game last week. Vaaulu is 18th in scoring (10.6 ppg) and third in field goal percentage (58.3 percent). Christensen, who broke the WAC's single-season record for free throw percentage, is first in this season, shooting 94.7 percent. She has only missed two of the 38 free throws that she has attempted. Christensen is also third in steals, averaging 3.86 spg with Johnson sitting right behind her in fourth, averaging 3.57 spg.
FREAKY FRANNY - In the tough overtime loss to UC Riverside on Nov. 15, sophomore forward Franny Vaaulu had a breakout game for the Aggies. The Los Angeles native scored a team-high 24 points and added 10 rebounds for her first double-double of her USU career. She also played a career-high 34 minutes. Playing in front of a lot of family in the Golden State, Vaaulu banked in a three in the waning seconds that sent the game to regulation.
LOOKING BACK - BYU 73, UTAH STATE 65 - Dani Peterson led four Brigham Young players in double-figures with 14 points as the Cougars rallied from a 13-point second-half deficit to defeat Utah State, 73-65, here inside the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum last season.
Brigham Young improves to 10-2 on the season with the win and Utah State falls to 5-5 with the loss.
Junior guard Devyn Christensen scored a season-high 18 points and added a season-best six rebounds for Utah State. Freshman guard Elise Nelson also had a season-high in points with 10, while senior forward Ashlee Brown finished with 10 points, eight rebounds, four assists and three steals. Senior guard Brooke Jackson was the fourth Aggie in double-figures as she had 10 points.
Utah State finished the game shooting 43.6 percent (42-55), including 40.0 percent from three-point range (6-15) and 68.8 percent at the free throw line (11-16). Brigham Young shot 39.7 percent overall (25-63), while making 11-of-30 (.367) three-pointers and 12-of-16 (.750) free throws. BYU also out-rebounded USU by 15 (45-30), while recording five more assists (21-16). The Cougars ended the game with three more turnovers (16-13), but also recorded five more steals (12-7).
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.
ALASKA - THE FINAL FRONTIER - The Aggies headed to the Final Frontier for the Great Alaska Shootout and returned with their first ever tournament win. With wins against Prairie View A&M and host Alaska Anchorage, Utah State captured the Great Alaska Shootout title. Senior guard Devyn Christensen was named MVP of the tournament, while sophomore forward Franny Vaaulu was also named to the all-tournament team. Vaaulu set the record for highest field goal percentage, shooting 81.8 (9-of-11).
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 - Despite a near triple-double from senior guard Jenna Johnson, the Utah State women's basketball team dropped its home opener, 71-65, to Montana State Saturday afternoon at Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
Johnson scored a career-high 20 points and tied her career high with 10 rebounds to lead Utah State. She also added a career-high eight steals in coming close to her first triple-double. The double-double was the second of the season for Johnson and the third of her career. Junior guard Jennifer Schlott added a season-high 13 points to go along with three assists. Senior guard Devyn Christensen added 18 points with freshman guard Makenlee Williams scoring a season-high 10.
Montana State also had four people in double figures led by 18 points from Kalli Durham. Ashley Brumwell had a double-double with 13 points and 10 boards. Rachel Semansky (13) and Jackie Elliott (11) also scored in double digits. The Bobcats won the battle of the boards 48-30.
Former Utah State assistant coach and current Bobcat head coach Tricia Binford improves to 4-0 against her former squad, while the Bobcats are now 10-2 against the Aggies all-time. With the loss, USU falls to 2-5 this season, while MSU improves to 5-1 with the win. USU falls to 3-7 since the re-instatement in home openers.
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).
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 took 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.
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