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Aggie Women's Basketball Returns Home to Face BYU Saturday
Junior guard Devyn Christensen and the USU women return home to take on in-state rival BYU on Saturday.

 
Junior guard Devyn Christensen and the USU women return home to take on in-state rival BYU on Saturday.
 

Dec. 12, 2011

LOGAN, Utah - TIP OFF - Utah State women's basketball will finally return home after three-straight road games for a two-game home stand before Christmas. The Aggies will look to snap a three-game losing streak at home against BYU on Saturday, Dec. 17 at 2 p.m. The game will be televised live on KCSG-TV and is the first half of a doubleheader with the Utah State men's team who will face Seattle at 7 p.m., also on KCSG-TV. The Cougars received votes in this week's Associated Press Top 25 poll.

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LIGHT MONTH - The Aggies have only three games left this month due to the holidays and finals. This week, the Aggies will be at home on Saturday, Dec. 17. USU's final two games of the month are on Dec. 19 against Northern Arizona and on Dec. 22 at Boise State before Christmas.

THE OPPONENT - The Cougars lead the all-time series with Utah State, 29-3. 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.

Last season, the Aggies and the Cougars met twice once in the regular season and in the second round of the Women's National Invitation Tournament (WNNIT), both in Provo. On Nov. 23, 2010, BYU defeated Utah State 84-52. In that game, USU was led by 12 points from Banna Diop. BYU had six players in double figures in scoring, including a double-double from Kristen Riley. In the loss in the WNIT, Devyn Christensen was USU's leading scorer with 14 points. Once again, BYU had six players in double figures, led by 19 points from both Haley Hall and Kim Parker.

This season, the Cougars are off to a hot start with a 9-2 record this season. In its last outing, the Cougars defeated former conference rival, Utah, 63-58 in Provo. BYU's only losses this season came against Duke and Kansas State. The always-tough Cougars have won eight-straight games, including back-to-back games against Beehive State schools with wins over Utah and Southern Utah.

Parker leads the team in scoring, averaging 12.7 points and 3.5 rebounds per game. Haley Steed scores 9.6 ppg, while Lexi Eaton scores 9.4 ppg. As a team, the Cougars average 72.9 ppg.

USU vs. BYU Under Coach Pebley
2003-04 N/A
2004-05 N/A
2005-06 N/A
2006-07 N/A
2007-08 L 64-70 (Logan)
2008-09 L 60-61 (Provo)
2009-10 L 48-61 (Logan)
2010-11 L 52-84 (Provo)
2010-11 L 63-102 (Provo, Second Round WNIT)
Overall: 0-5
BREAKING THE STREAK- After winning four-straight games, Utah State has now lost three-straight games. USU is now 2-4 on the road this year. The 19-point loss to Montana State was the worst this season for the Aggies. USU was out-rebounded in both games. The Blue and White are 3-4 when out rebounded this season.

AGAINST THE BEEHIVE STATE- BYU is the second of three teams from the Beehive State that the Aggies will take on this season. USU has already earned a 73-63 win against Weber State on Nov. 16. Following the game against the Cougars, USU will conclude its tour of the Beehive State with a home game against Utah Valley on Jan. 7.

STARTING FIVE- In nine games this season, Utah State has used four different lineups. Ashlee Brown and Jennifer Schlott are the only two Aggies to have started all nine games this season. Brooke Jackson had started every game until coming off the bench against Idaho State on Dec. 10. Chelsea Burns started the first four games of the season until an injury ended her season. Eight different players have started at least one game this season for USU.

PICKING POCKETS - Utah State has 93 steals this season compared to 77 by its opponents. The Aggies average 10.3 steals per game, while their opponents have 8.6 spg. Ashlee Brown leads the team with 22 steals (2.4 spg), while Jennifer Schlott is second with 14 steals (1.6 spg). Brooke Jackson has 12 steals so far this season (1.3 spg). The Aggies are second in the WAC in steals per game, averaging 10.33 just behind San Jose State which takes away 12.00 spg.

GETTING ABOVE 60 - There are several similarities in Utah State's three-straight losses. In all three games, the Aggies were out-rebounded and scored less than 70 points. The last time USU reached the 70-point barrier, Utah State defeated UC Riverside 71-68 on Nov. 25. In the Aggies' five wins this season have scored at least 70 points three times.

STELLAR FROM THE STRIPE - In the Aggies 67-65 loss to Idaho State on Dec. 10, Utah State had another stellar night from the free throw line. USU shot 88.9 percent from the charity stripe, going 16-of-18. For the season, the Aggies are shooting 81.7 percent from the free throw line (174-of-213).

Four of the top 10 free throw shooters in the WAC come from Utah State.

CLOSING OUT THE MONTH - Utah State ended November with a solid 5-2 record. Last year, the Aggies had the opposite record with a 2-5 mark seven games into the season. Utah State is 3-0 at home this season and 2-4 away from the friendly confines of the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. USU will play only three games left in December due to finals and the holidays.

DOUBLE YOUR PLEASURE - Ashlee Brown is still the only player in the WAC who is averaging a double-double. Brown brings down 10.1 rebounds and 17.2 points per game. She is the leader in the league in rebounds and is third in scoring. New Mexico State's Tabytha Wampler was averaging a double-double but has dropped to 9.8 rpg.

AMONG THE BEST IN THE WAC - Ashlee Brown is still third in the WAC in scoring behind San Jose State's Brittany Johnson and Fresno State's Ki-Ki Moore. Johnson is averaging 18.4 points per game, while Brown averages 17.2 ppg. Brown is also still first in the league in rebounding with 10.1 rpg. Senior Maddy Plunkett is tied for first in the league in three-point shooting (.500) with Moore. Brooke Jackson is up to second in free throw percentage (.896). Brown and Jackson have scored the most free throws by far in the conference with Brown sinking 53 and Jackson making 43.

As a team, USU is second behind Fresno State in scoring offense, averaging 70.1 points per game. The Aggies and the Bulldogs are the only two teams in the league with positive scoring margins with Fresno State standing +3.0 and USU holding a +0.4. The Aggies are still first in free throw percentage (81.7).

UP NEXT - The Aggies are scheduled to take on BYU on Saturday, Dec. 17 at 7 p.m. in Logan. The game against the Cougars will be televised live on KCSG-TV in Utah. After the game with the Cougars, USU will have two more games before the holidays. On Monday Dec. 19, Utah State will take on its final Big Sky Conference team when Northern Arizona comes to Logan. On Wednesday Dec. 22, the Aggies will travel to Boise to take on the Broncos for the second time. USU captured the meeting in Logan in Nov.

AMONG THE NATION'S BEST - Utah State moved up to second in the nation in free-throw percentage (81.7 percent) behind the country's leader Richmond (83.8 percent). USU is also 28th in the NCAA statistics in three-point field goal percentage (35.8 percent). Vanderbilt is first in the country (44.1 percent). Ashlee Brown is 22nd in the nation in double-doubles this season with four. She is also 28th in the country in rebounds per game, averaging 10.1 rpg.

HOME SWEET HOME - After starting the season playing six of its first nine games on the road, Utah State will enjoy coming home to the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. The Aggies will play four of their next five games at home where USU is 3-0 this season. USU is 2-4 so far this season on the road.

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.

AGGIES LOSE BURNS TO INJURY - Utah State women's basketball junior guard/forward Chelsea Burns has been medically disqualified due to a knee injury. The injury is similar to the one that kept her out of the entire 2009-10 season.

Burns, a native of Carlsbad, Calif, started the first four games of the season and played in five this season. She averaged 10.8 minutes. 0.8 points and 1.6 rebounds per game. The junior has been diagnosed with an osteochondral defect and a meniscus tear and will have knee surgery on December 15.

Burns will graduate at the end of the fall semester with a degree in law and constitutional studies and will begin her master's of education next semester.

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.

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.

LAST TIME OUT - Despite coming back from a 12-point deficit with 5:52 left in the game, the Utah State women's basketball fell to Idaho State, 67-65, at Reed Gym in Pocatello on Saturday. A lay up by Kaela Oakes with nine seconds left lifted the Bengals over the Aggies.

With the loss, the Aggies fall to 5-4 this season and have lost three-straight games. The Bengals improve to 6-4 with the win. Idaho State has now won six-straight against Utah State. The Aggies are now 1-3 against the Big Sky Conference this season with a win against Weber State and losses to Montana, Montana State and Idaho State. USU has one more chance against the Big Sky on Monday, Dec. 19 when the Aggies face Northern Arizona on School Day at 12 p.m.

USU was led by 15 points from senior forward Ashlee Brown, while junior guard Devyn Christensen added 13. This is the eighth time this season that Brown has scored in double figures. Senior guard Brooke Jackson added 10 points. Brown was also the leading rebounder in the game with nine, just shy of her fifth double-double of the season.

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.

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.

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 243 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.

 

 

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