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USU basketball: women's basketball team opening 2012-13 season with exhibition game against New Mexico Highlands on Friday

By Doug Hoffman

For the Deseret News

Published: Thursday, Nov. 1 2012 7:04 p.m. MDT

To open the new head coach Jerry Finkbeiner era, the Utah State women's basketball team will take to the court for its one and only exhibition of the 2012-13 season, hosting New Mexico Highlands on Friday, Nov. 2, at 7 p.m. at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.

Finkbeiner, who was named Utah State's ninth head women's basketball coach in April 2012, will welcome back seven players from the 2011-12 roster, including three starters in senior guard Devyn Christensen (15.1 points per game), senior guard Jenna Johnson (5.8 ppg) and sophomore guard Elise Nelson (3.0 ppg).

Christensen became the second-straight Utah State women's basketball player to earn Western Athletic Conference Preseason Player of the Year honors when she was awarded the honor by both the coaches and media. Last season, forward Ashlee Brown was named preseason all-WAC. Last season, Christensen was named to the second-team in the coaches' poll.

Utah State was selected first in the WAC coaches' and media poll. This is the first time 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.

New Mexico Highlands began the 2012-13 season Monday, Oct. 30, with an exhibition game on the road against the Thunderbirds of Southern Utah. The Thunderbirds, from the Big Sky Conference, were a tough test for the Cowgirls and came away with the 83-62 victory at Centrum Arena in Cedar City, Utah.

The Cowgirls were led by guard Alyssa Lopez, who scored a team leading 18 points on the night. She played a game high 38 minutes, adding seven rebounds, three assists and a steal to her night's totals.

NMHU then played at Utah Valley on Wednesday, Oct. 31, and the visiting Cowgirls won, 67-62. Guard Eboni Jacobs led New Mexico Highlands in the contest with a game-high 16 points, and forward Morgan Lee finished with a game-high 13 rebounds and eight points.

Admission to Utah State's women's basketball exhibition game is free. Regular-season tickets are $5 for adults and $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 website.

Doug Hoffman is the assistant athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.

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