FACTS & STATS: Site: Leavey Center (4,500) -- Santa Clara, California. Television: None. Home Record: USU 3-1, Santa Clara 4-0. Away Record: USU 0-0, Santa Clara 1-0. Neutral Record: USU 0-0, Santa Clara 0-0. Conference Record: USU 0-0, Santa Clara 0-0. Series Record: Utah State leads, 4-3.
GAME NOTES: Starting off with a five-game win streak for the first time since the 1968-69 campaign, the Santa Clara Broncos now set their sights on visiting Utah State on Wednesday when the two teams clash at the Leavey Center.
The Broncos have enjoyed playing four of their first five games of 2012-13 at home, with a number of those meetings up against teams that are far from powerhouses. Santa Clara kicked off the year with a 106-66 thumping of Simpson College, and more recently took down Eastern Washington last week in an 89-74 final.
Even though the team is off to a strong start, it has a long way to go before it can be compared to the 1968-69 squad which opened with 21 straight wins.
As for the Aggies, they too have been comfortable in their own building in the early going, kicking off the campaign with four straight home dates for the first time since 1996-97. The residency in Logan has resulted in a 3-1 record for USU and head coach Stew Morrill. Since losing to Saint Mary's back on Nov. 15, Utah State has delivered wins over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, and Weber State on Saturday in a 65-55 final.
The Aggies lead the all-time series with Santa Clara by a 4-3 count, with USU winning the most recent meeting back in 2007 with a 71-65 final in Logan.
An entertaining game against Weber State to say the least, the meeting saw 16 ties and 24 lead changes as USU fans were forced to sit on the edge of their seats until the Aggies began to pull away down the stretch in the double-digit decision. Preston Medlin registered 17 points, nine rebounds, four assists and three steals, while Jarred Shaw shared some of the spotlight with his double- double consisting of 16 points and 12 boards, to go along with three blocked shots. Ben Clifford offered up 11 points off the bench in just 14 minutes of action. Shaw, a transfer from Oklahoma State, has been a huge addition to the program, scoring in double figures in each of the last three games and already having a pair of double-doubles, which is why he paces the team in both scoring (14.5 ppg) and rebounding (10.8 rpg). Medlin (13.8 ppg) is shooting 42.9 percent from three-point range, but as a group the Aggies are not that aggressive out on the perimeter with just over 11 three-point attempts per contest, compared to almost 20 per game for the competition.
Except for John McArthur who finished with just five points, every starter for the Broncos landed in double figures in the win over Eastern Washington, with Marc Trasolini producing a game-high 25 points, adding five assists, four rebounds and three blocked shots as well. Kevin Foster dropped in 17 points, Raymond Cowels 12 and Evan Roquemore 11 points to go along with a game-high nine assists. A team effort in the truest sense of the word, the Broncos recorded 25 assists on 30 made field goals as they shot better than 50 percent from the floor and 12-of-26 behind the three-point line. Shooting 55.9 percent from the floor thus far, Trasolini has been doing it all for the Broncos, from his 18.8 ppg, to 7.4 rpg and better than a pair of blocks per outing. Foster heads the list of scorers with 20.6 ppg, thanks to his 15-of-37 effort out on the perimeter as the team shoots a healthy 41.4 percent behind the three-point line.
Outscoring opponents by 19 ppg, obviously aided by the lopsided win over Simpson in the opener, the Broncos are putting up great numbers in the early going. While the Aggies will certainly give them a run for their money, SCU will again be tough to beat.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Santa Clara 81, Utah State 73
11/28 10:32:32 ET
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