Chasing the record books History
Published: Thursday, February 7, 2013
Updated: Thursday, February 7, 2013 13:02
Some records have withstood the testament of time and may never be broken. Some of these records include Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game, Jerry Rice’s career receiving yards and Barry Bond’s 73 home run season.
Barring injury or terrific defense, senior guard Devyn Christensen will make history at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. Nine points is all that separates the Utah State women’s basketball player from the school’s all-time women’s scoring record.
Jerri McGahan’s record of 1,353 career points set between the 1977 and 1980 seasons will fall after 33 years.
“It’s an exciting thing to be remembered as the all-time scorer at Utah State for women’s basketball,” Christensen said. “Mostly I just take it as an honor being remembered in the record books for something. It’s just part of leaving a legacy.”
Women’s head coach Jerry Finkbeiner is in his first season of coaching Christensen, but he said he takes great pride in being able to coach her during her final season and being able to experience breaking the record with her.
“Anytime anybody breaks a career record whether it be scoring, assists, rebounds, tackles or yards gained is quite a feat,” Finkbeiner said. “Devyn in her career has passed literally hundreds of young women in the basketball program here through the years. Quite an honor for Devyn and I’m very proud of her and very happy that I can be her coach during her senior year when she makes this accomplishment.”
One of Christensen’s hopes was that she could break the record at the Spectrum in front of her family and friends because people on the road haven’t shared the four-year experience with her.
“Wanting to do it here with people that have seen me play for four years and my family that would be here to support,” Christensen said. “If it’s at home there is a lot more excitement and you can soak it up a little bit more.”
The Aggies had a rough start to their season and weren’t living up to the expectations placed on them in the preseason. USU was picked to finish first in the WAC and Christensen was the preseason player of the year.
Her own personal goals of breaking the record and living up to the preseason player of the year tag placed upon Christensen never derailed her from the ultimate team goal of winning the WAC and making the NCAA Tournament.
“I didn’t even know I was that close to that record, so it’s something I haven’t even thought about,” Christensen said.
During her four years at USU, Christensen has been highly decorated. In 2010 and 2011 Christensen received academic all-WAC honors and is on pace to do it again this season. 2012 was the first year she was named to the all-WAC first team.
According to coaches and teammates, Christensen is the perfect example of how to represent oneself off the court.
“Devyn is probably our representative of the program both on and off the floor,” Finkbeiner said. “She is an outstanding student and outstanding basketball player, walks the talk in her life and is a very consistent person and player.”
The scoring record isn’t the only record Christensen will end her career at Utah State holding.
On Jan. 31 against Idaho, Christensen broke the record for most free throws made in a career. She stands at 298 made free throws. The previous record belonged to Ashlee Brown, who had 289 career makes. Christensen also holds the record for highest free throw percentage.
The four years Christensen has experienced at USU will stick with her forever.
“It has been an awesome journey and I wouldn’t trade it for anything,” Christensen said. “I love this campus, I love the people here, I love Logan, I love Utah State and the Spectrum. Everybody involved does a great job with students, especially student athletes. We have so much help in whatever area we need. It has just been awesome.”
A year ago, Christensen imagined a life post-USU of playing basketball overseas, but now that she is newly-engaged, her plans may have changed.
“I have a man that I have fallen in love with that I’m getting married to in April, so it’s completely different because I will be transitioning to getting married versus to just staying in the gym all the time,” Christensen said. “That’s going to play a big role once I graduate from Utah State as I won’t continue to live in the Spectrum and move on to starting a family.”
Christensen will attempt to break the all-time record Saturday when the Aggies host San Jose State at 7 p.m. in the Spectrum.