Dec. 19, 2012
LOGAN, Utah - TIP OFF - Utah State women's basketball will host both the Coyotes from South Dakota (5-6) and elementary and middle school kids on Thursday, Dec. 20 at Noon for the Aggies fourth annual School Day. The game is the first of three on Thursday as the World Vision Challenge begins for the USU men's team.
This is the second of a four-game homestand for USU (2-8), which is its longest of the season. The Aggies opened the homestand with a heartbreaking, 71-70, loss to UC Irvine on Dec. 18. This is USU's final game before breaking for the holidays. The game against the Coyotes is also Utah State's final non-conference game of the season.
AGGIES ON SCHOOL DAY - This is the fourth annual School Day for Utah State. The Aggies are 3-0 on School Day where local elementary and middle schools pack the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. In 2009, USU won the inaugural School Day game with a 58-46 win over North Dakota State. In 2010, edged South Dakota State, 60-57. Last season, USU improved to 3-0 on School Day with a 70-51 win over Northern Arizona. This season, the Aggies will take on their second school from the Mount Rushmore state, facing South Dakota on Dec. 20 at Noon.
SCOUTING SOUTH DAKOTA - This is first ever meeting between the Coyotes and the Aggies. The only team that both South Dakota and Utah State have played is Utah Valley. The Aggies fell to the Wolverines, 78-62. South Dakota handled Utah Valley 72-48.
The 5-6 Coyotes defeated Peru State, 93-37, on Dec. 15. On Dec. 9, South Dakota fell to Kansas State in Manhattan, 68-54. The Coyotes also have wins against Drake, Seton Hall and Dakota State.
South Dakota has two players averaging in double figures in Nicole Seekamp and Polly Harrington. Seekamp leads the team, scoring 14.7 points per game, while Harrington averages 12.6 ppg. The Coyotes are a strong rebounding, bringing down 43.7 rebounds per game. USD's opponents average only 36.6 rpg.
CHANGING IT UP - In 10 games this season, Utah State has had five different starting lineups. The lineup of Jennifer Schlott, Devyn Christensen, Jenna Johnson, Makenlee Williams and Franny Vaaulu have started three games this season. Elise Nelson, Christensen, Johnson, Cristal Turner and Vaaulu have been the starters for two games. Stephanie Bairstow, Christensen, Johnson, Williams and Vaaulu have been the starters for a trio of games. The group of Nelson, Christensen, Johnson, Williams, Vaaulu and Schlott, Christensen, Johnson, Williams and Bairstow have both been the combination of starters for one game.
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.
TRIO IN DOUBLE DIGITS - Three different Aggies are averaging in double figures through the first 10 games of the season. Senior guard Devyn Christensen is first in the WAC and on the team, scoring 21.9 points per game. Fellow senior guard Jenna Johnson is second with 12.2 ppg. Due to her career-high 26 point performance against UC Irvine, junior guard Jennifer Schlott is now averaging 11.0 ppg.
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.
OFF TO A ROUGH START - Utah State is in the midst of a five-game losing streak after winning two-straight games. This has been the slowest start for Utah State since starting the 2007-08 season 2-7.
CHRISTENSEN REACHES LANDMARK - In the game against PVAMU, Devyn Christensen became the seventh Aggie to break the 1,000-point plateau. She now has 1,127 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 eight of Utah State's 10 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 20 points against UC Irvine, Devyn Christensen moved up to fourth on the career scoring charts for Utah State with 1,127 points. She is just 11 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).
HOLDING ONTO THE BALL - In the Aggies' loss against UC Irvine on Dec. 18, USU tied a season-low nine turnovers. The other game that the Aggies only had nine turnovers was USU's 67-66 win against Prairie View A&M at the Great Alaska Shootout.
WHAT'S NEXT - USU are in the middle of 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 began the home stand a non-conference home games against UC Irvine on Dec. 18. The Aggies end non-conference action against 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 fourth NCAA statistics release, senior guard Devyn Christensen is sixth in points per game (22.1 ppg). Christensen and Jenna Johnson are tied for 16th in steals per game (3.67 spg). Christensen is also fourth in three pointers made per game (3.56). The senior is also ninth in the nation in free throw percentage (93.8 percent).
As a team, Utah State is fourth in the country in free throw percentage, shooting 81.0 percent from the charity stripe. USU is 46th in the NCAA in scoring offense (71.4). As a team, the Aggie defense is fourth in the country in steals, 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 - A three-pointer by UC Irvine's Kelly Meggs with 3.1 seconds gave the Anteaters a thrilling 71-70 win over Utah State women's basketball Tuesday night at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, overshadowing a career-high 26 points by junior guard Jennifer Schlott.
The game saw eight lead changes and four ties, as USU slid to 2-8 overall while UCI improved to 3-7 with the win.
Schlott was joined in not just the double-digit scoring column but also in the 20-point category by senior guard Devyn Christensen with 20 points. Senior guard Jenna Johnson was one point and one rebound shy of a double-double with nine points and a game-high nine rebounds.
UCI was led by a double-double by Camille Buckley with 16 points and a game-high 14 rebounds. Jennifer Tsurumoto tallied 15 points and Meggs finishing with 12 points, draining 4-of-10 three-pointers.
Utah State shot 26-of-63 (41.3 percent) field goal shooting, making 13-of-33 (39.4 percent) of its three-pointers, setting a new season-high for treys made and attempts. The Aggies were also a season-low 5-of-9 (55.6 percent) at the free throw line.
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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