Christensen sets record as Aggies get revenge
There was no stopping the Utah State women’s basketball team Saturday.
The Aggies played like a team on a mission en route to a lopsided 87-54 win over a short-handed San Jose State squad, highlighted by Devyn Christensen’s record breaking night.
“We’ve got several things going for us right now,” head coach Jerry Finkbeiner said. “We’re on a win streak. We’ve got a little bit of swagger going on right now. Expectations are ones that come on the floor that we’ll play hard and play well, and Devyn’s night was icing on the cake. It was a good night when you throw all of the above together.”
Entering the game eight points behind Jerrie MacGahan’s 1,353 career points, it took
Christensen all of four shots to break the record and become the all-time scoring leader. At the 11:59 mark of the first half, the senior from Caldwell, Idaho drilled her third 3-pointer from the corner to etch her name in the record books again.
Fittingly, it was Christensen’s best friend and roommate, Pualei Furtado, who assisted her on the play.
“I’m just so happy for her and so proud of her,” Furtado said. “That was my favorite play of the whole game was to be able to pass the ball to her for her points to get that award and break the record.”
Christensen, nicknamed the “White Mamba” by fellow students, also holds the records for 3-point attempts, free throw percentage and free throws made.
“It’s cool for me to be able to have that experience my senior year,” Christensen said. “It was just a special moment, a culmination of a good four years and a good deal all the way around.”
While Christensen scored a game-high 17 points, it was a total team effort that allowed the Aggies to avenge their Jan. 12 loss to the Spartans.
“Wins in a row,” Christensen said in response to which record was her favorite. “That’s always the best one because it’s a team one and it’s so fun. Individual records are cool to be able to be able to have your family be excited about and be remembered for, but ultimately it is a team game.”
Jennifer Schlott dominated early with 11 first half points while dishing out four assists as the Aggies shot 50 percent from the field en route to a 45-19 halftime lead. The Spartans shot just 20 percent from the field and 50 percent from the free throw line, led by Riana Byrd with 10 of the team’s 19 points.
It could have been a lot worse for the Spartans.
Despite 14 USU turnovers in the first 20 minutes, the Spartans managed just one point off those takeaways.
“We’re holding the girls accountable one on one,” Finkbeiner said. “We’re playing in a way that our turnovers aren’t bad turnovers. They’re turnovers trying to create things and not sloppy turnovers that give the opposing a fast-break and easy buckets.”
After a 36-point performance the first time the teams met, the Aggies held SJSU freshman Emily Schill to six points on 2-of-6 shooting. Byrd finished with a team-high 17 points for the Spartans, who fell to 9-14 overall and 6-6 in WAC play.
The Aggies out-rebounded the Spartans 66-36 on the night, holding SJSU to 26 percent from the field while forcing 19 turnovers.
Utah State improved to 13-10 overall and remained atop the WAC standings with a 10-2 record after sweeping its three-game home-stand. The Aggies hit the road for a pair of games, starting with a Valentines date against Denver on Thursday.
Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
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