USU Women's Basketball Opens WAC Play Hosting UTSA Saturday
Dec. 27, 2012
LOGAN, Utah - TIP OFF - Utah State women's basketball closes out the 2012 portion of the 2012-13 season by opening its eighth and final season in the Western Athletic Conference, hosting UTSA on Saturday, Dec. 29 at 7 p.m. at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. USU will then host a New Year's Eve game against Texas State on Monday, Dec. 31 at 7 p.m. Both the Roadrunners and the Bobcats are new to the WAC this season.
These two home games are the last two in a four-game homestand, the Aggies longest of the season. So far, Utah State is 1-1 in the homestand with a win against South Dakota on Dec. 20 and a loss to UC Irvine on Dec. 18.
AGGIES ON SCHOOL DAY - Utah State improved to 4-0 when packing the house with local elementary and middle schoolers for School Day. With a win against South Daktota on Dec. 20, the Aggies are now 4-0 on School Day when 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.
SCOUTING UTSA - This is first ever meeting between the Roadrunners and the Aggies. This is UTSA's first season in the WAC. UTSA and USU have not played any common opponents this season.
The 6-5 Roadrunners have lost four of their last five games, earning a win against UNLV on Dec. 8. Since that game, UTSA has played only one more game in which the Roadrunners fell to Rice on the road, 43-41 on Dec. 20. UTSA won the first three games of the season and five of its first six.
The Roadrunners have one player in double figures in scoring in Simone Young, who averages 10.4 points and 4.9 rebounds per game. Kamra King is second in scoring with 9.0 ppg. UTSA scores 59.7 points per game, but only allows 49.8 ppg, which is first in the WAC. The Roadrunners are also first in the league in field goal percentage defense (30.5 percent).
AGGIES IN WAC OPENERS - Utah State is 3-3 in Western Athletic Conference openers winning the last two on the road at Louisiana Tech in 2010 and at home against Boise State in 2011. This is the first time since USU joined the league that the Aggies have taken on a WAC newcomer to start the season. UTSA and USU's first meeting will be the WAC opener. Utah State is 2-2 in WAC openers at home.
USU IN WAC OPENERS (4-3) 2005-06 L, vs. San Jose State, 51-63 2006-07 L, vs. Boise State, 70-80 2007-08 W, vs. San Jose State, 68-58 2008-09 L, at Idaho, 63-71 2009-10 W, at Louisiana Tech, 69-66 2010-11 W, vs. Boise State, 69-57 2011-12 W, at New Mexico State, 74-56 2012-13
CHANGING IT UP - 11 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 started one game, while Christensen, Johnson, Williams and Bairstow have been the combination of starters for two games.
CHRISTENSEN PASSES RICHARDS IN SCORING - With 25 points in the Aggies win over South Dakota on Dec. 20, senior guard Devyn Christensen is now third all-time in scoring at Utah State with 1,152 points. She passed Aggie-great Taylor Richards (2005-08) who scored 1,138 points in her Utah State career. She is now forty points away from tying Brenda House (1978-81) for second place with 1,192 points. Jerrie McGahan (1977-80) is the all-time scoring leader at USU with 1,353 points scored during her time at Utah State.
COME FROM BEHIND - For the first time this season, Utah State came back from and won a game that it was trailing at half time. The Aggies had been 0-6 when trailing at the half. USU's first two wins of the season came when the Aggies entered the locker room at half time with a lead. USU is now 1-6 when trailing at half time.
PASSING THE ROCK - Junior guard Jennifer Schlott had a career-high eight assists in the Aggies win over South Dakota on Dec. 20. In seven of the Aggies' 11 games she has had at least three assists. She also had five assists against UC Irvine on Dec. 18. She has started five games this season, including the last four.
MORE ON SCHLOTT - Not only has Schlott been solid passing the ball this season, the junior guard has been scoring more of late. She has scored in double figures the last five games, including scoring 26 points in a last second loss to UC Irvine on Dec. 18. She is one of three Aggies to average in double figures thru the first 11 games of the season. She is third in scoring behind senior guards Devyn Christensen (22.2 ppg) and Jenna Johnson (12.5 ppg).
TOPS IN THE WAC - Devyn Christensen is still first in the WAC scoring, averaging 22.2 points per game. Jenna Johnson is 12th, averaging 12.5 ppg. Christensen, who broke the WAC's single-season record for free throw percentage, is first in this season, shooting 93.9 percent. She has only missed three of the 48 free throws that she has attempted. Johnson is third in steals, averaging 3.64 spg, while Christensen is fourth with 3.18 spg. Christensen is third in assists, averaging 3.64 apg.
OFF TO A ROUGH START - Utah State ended its five-game losing streak after beating South Dakota on Dec. 20. This has been the slowest start for Utah State since starting t
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.
TAKING IT AWAY - Utah State has 156 steals this season which is the most by any team so far this season. The Aggies have almost 50 more assists than their opponents this season as USU opponents have 107 steals this year.
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).
REBOUNDING TROUBLES - In Utah State's win against South Dakota, there was one very glaring statistics. The Aggies were out-rebounded, 63-26, which was its biggest rebound margin deficit of the season. The Aggies have been out-rebounded in all 11 games this season. USU's rebound margin is -12.2 this season.
WHAT'S NEXT - The Aggies will ring in the New Year against the Bobcats of Texas State in Logan on Dec. 31 at 7 p.m. Utah State will then hit the road to take on Seattle U on Thursday, Jan. 3 in Seattle and Idaho on Saturday, Jan. 5. One week later, the Aggies will travel to San Jose to face the Spartans on Saturday, Jan. 12.
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 - In front of over 1,000 kids, senior guard Devyn Christensen drilled a three with 10 seconds left to give Utah State women's basketball a 70-69 win over South Dakota on Thursday in the first game of a tripleheader at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
Utah State improved to 4-0 on School Day also defeating South Dakota State, Northern Arizona and North Dakota State.
The win snaps a five-game losing streak for the Aggies, who improve to 3-8 this season. The Coyotes fall to 5-7 with the road loss. USU earned the win despite being out-rebounded 63-26 by South Dakota.
Four different Aggies were in double digits in scoring led by 25 points by Christensen. This was her seventh 20-point game this season. Senior guard Jenna Johnson added 16 points, while junior guard Jennifer Schlott scored 12 points and added a career-high eight assists.
Three different Coyotes scored in double figures with Tempestt Wilson scoring 18. Margaret McCloud had a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Nicole Seekamp added 14 points and eight boards.
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. Finkbeiner added assistant coaches Micha Thompspon and Robert Donaldson. Stu Sells enters his second season as an assistant at Utah State.