USU Women's Basketball Opens Homestand Against UC Irvine Tuesday
Dec. 16, 2012
LOGAN, Utah - TIP OFF - After a week off for finals, the Utah State women's basketball team returns to the friendly confines of the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum for the first of four-straight home games, beginning with UC Irvine on Tuesday, Dec. 18 at 7 p.m. Both the Aggies and the Anteaters are 2-7 this season.
Utah State looks to break a four-game losing streak with in-state losses to Utah and BYU along with a home loss to Montana State and a defeat at the hands of No. 5 Notre Dame.
THE OPPONENT - This is the 10th meeting between Utah State and UC Irvine with the Anteaters holding a 6-3 record against the Aggies. The first time the teams met was in 1982 and the last time was last season. In last year's game, Utah State captured a 69-64 road win against UCI. Senior Ashlee Brown led USU with 21 points in the win. Jazmyne White scored 20 points in the loss. Jasmine Bernard also added 13 points.
The 2-7 Anteaters have lost two-straight games, including a 73-55 loss to the Aggies' Western Athletic Conference foe Idaho and Cal State Bakersfield. UC Irvine's two wins this season came against Drake and WAC newcomer, Seattle, in overtime. UCI is 1-3 on the road and are 0-4 at home this season.
Jennifer Tsurumoto is the Anteaters leading scorer, averaging 11.6 points and 3.3 rebounds per game. She is the only UCI player to average in double figures. Camille Buckley is second in scoring (9.9 ppg) and is the Anteaters' top rebounder with 6.7 rebounds per game. As a team, UC Irvine allows 65.7 ppg, while allowing 55.7 ppg.
FREE POINTS - Senior guard Devyn Christensen continues to take advantage of her attempts at the charity stripe this season. The senior is first in the WAC in free throw percentage, shooting 93.8 percent. She has made 45 of the 48 free throws she has attempted this season. Christensen is also 11th in nation with her 93.8 free throw percentage. She set the WAC's single-season record last season, shooting 89.8 percent.
GETTING IN THE GAME - Three different Aggies have started all nine games this season, including guards Devyn Christensen and Jenna Johnson and forward Franny Vaaulu. Five other Aggies have started at least one game this year. Freshman Makenlee Williams has started seven games this season, including the last six games. Guards Stephanie Bairstow, Elise Nelson and Jennifer Schlott have all started three games apiece with guard Cristal Turner starting two. All 11 active players on the have played at least three games this year.
TOPS IN THE WAC - Devyn Christensen is still first in the WAC scoring, averaging 22.1 points per game. Jenna Johnson is 13th, averaging 12.6 ppg. Christensen, who broke the WAC's single-season record for free throw percentage, is first in this season, shooting 93.8 percent. She has only missed three of the 48 free throws that she has attempted. Johnson and Christensen are also tied for third in steals, averaging 3.67 spg. Christensen is third in assists, averaging 3.67 apg.
MANY, MANY MINUTES - Utah State has two players in the top 10 in the WAC in minutes played. Devyn Christensen is first in the conference in minutes played, averaging 36.67 minutes per game. Jenna Johnson is eighth, logging in 34.00 mpg.
CHRISTENSEN REACHES LANDMARK - In the game against PVAMU, Devyn Christensen became the seventh Aggie to break the 1,000-point plateau. She now has 1,107 points in her Utah State career, which places her fourth 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.
BIG MACK ATTACK - Utah State freshman Makenlee Williams has had two breakout games for the Aggies. The freshman, who has started seven of Utah State's nine games this season, has scored in double figures two of the last three games. She scored 10 points in USU's home-opener loss to Montana State. Williams topped that with 15 points and a season-high six boards in the Aggies' four-point loss to BYU.
RISING THE CHARTS - With 21 points against Notre Dame, Devyn Christensen moved up to fourth on the career scoring charts for Utah State with 1,107 points. She is just 31 points away the third spot held by Aggie great Taylor Richards who scored 1,138 points from 2005-08.
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 now 15-16 against the Beehive State, including this season's losses to BYU, Utah Valley and Utah. The Aggies now gone 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.
LOOKING AROUND THE LEAGUE - With conference play just a few weeks away, there are now three teams in the WAC with records above .500. Both New Mexico State and Texas State hold 5-3 records. UTSA has a 6-4 record through the first 10 games of the season. Utah State is one of four teams with seven losses, including Idaho (3-7), San Jose State (3-7) and UT Arlington (1-7).
LAST TIME AGAINST UC IRVINE - With three players scoring in double figures, the Utah State women's basketball team battled to a 69-64 road win against UC Irvine at the Bren Events Centers on last season. Senior forward Ashlee Brown led the Aggies with 21 points.
Senior guard Brooke Jackson and senior forward Maddy Plunkett both scored 12 points for the Aggies in the win. Brown added 14 rebounds which was just one shy of her career high. Brown brought down 15 rebounds in an overtime win at Northern Arizona last season.
The Anteaters were led by 20 points from Jazmyne White, while Methlyn Onogomuho had 11 and Jasmine Bernard added 13.
Utah State improves to 3-1 this season with the win, while UC Irvine falls to 0-4 this season. The 3-1 start is the Aggies best since starting 3-1 during the 2009-10 season.
WHAT'S NEXT - USU will now play a season-high four-straight games at the friendly confines of the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. After starting the season playing eight of the first nine on the road, USU will not play four at home. The Aggies begin the home stand with a pair of non-conference home games against UC Irvine on Dec. 18 and South Dakota on Dec. 20. The Aggies then begin conference action against UTSA on (Dec. 29) and Texas State (Dec. 31).
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.
AGGIES IN THE NCAA STATISTICS - In the third NCAA statistics release, senior guard Devyn Christensen is ninth in points per game (22.1 ppg). Christensen and Jenna Johnson are tied for 19th in steals per game (3.67 spg). Christensen is also fifth in three pointers made per game (3.56). The senior is also 11th in the nation in free throw percentage (93.8 percent).
As a team, Utah State is second in the country in free throw percentage, shooting 81.0 percent from the charity stripe. USU is 44th in the NCAA in scoring offense (71.4). As a team, the Aggie defense is fourth in the country in steal, averaging 14.9 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.
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 very competitive first half, No. 5 Notre Dame proved to be too much for the Utah State women's basketball team capturing a 109-70 win at Purcell Pavillion in South Bend, Ind., on Saturday.
With the loss, the Aggies return home to the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum with a 2-7 record. Notre Dame improves to 6-1 with the win. USU is now 0-1 against the Fighting Irish. The last time that the Aggies allowed 100 points was a 116-65 loss to Western Michigan in 2003.
Senior guard Devyn Christensen led the Aggies with 21 points, while junior guard Jennifer Schlott added 14. Christensen reached the 20-point plateau for the fifth time this season to lead the Aggies. Freshman guard Makenlee Williams added eight points and four boards. All five of the Aggies starters had at least two steals.
Notre Dame had five players in double figures, led by 23 points from Natalie Achonwa who had a double-double with 12 rebounds. Markisha Wright also had a double-double off the bench with 14 points and 11 boards. Skylar Diggins had a double-double with 12 points and 10 assists for the Irish, who had 27 assists.
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.