Texas State (9-20) at Utah State (19-9)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, March 7, 9:05 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Glen Smith Spectrum (10,270) -- Logan, Utah. Television: KMYU. Home Record: Texas State 4-11, Utah State 12-4. Away Record: Texas State 4-7, Utah State 7-5. Neutral Record: Texas State 1-2, Utah State 0-0. Conference Record: Texas State 4-12, Utah State 9-7. Series Record: Utah State leads, 1-0.
GAMES NOTES: Looking to extend its streak of 20-win seasons, the Utah State Aggies will host the Texas State Bobcats in a Western Athletic Conference matchup at the Glen Smith Spectrum.
Texas State is coming off a 90-81 shootout loss to Idaho during its final home game of the season. The Bobcats are just 9-20 overall and only 4-12 in league action which has it just a game and a half above last-place Seattle. If they can win on Thursday the Bobcats would guarantee themselves a slot in the upcoming WAC Tournament. If they can't get the win against Utah State they have another shot against San Jose State in the season finale on Saturday.
This will be the third attempt by Utah State to record its 20th win this season. If the Aggies can accomplish the feat they would have reached 20 wins for the 14th-straight season. That would put them in a class with Duke, Florida, Kansas and Syracuse as the only teams to have managed 20 wins during that 14-year span. Utah State is a mediocre 9-7 in league action and with losses in three of its last four games, has been sliding down the conference standings, although they can fall no further than the fifth slot they currently hold.
In their first meeting as league foes and first matchup ever, Utah State rolled to an 81-57 victory in a New Year's Eve clash earlier this season.
Matt Staff scored 22 points to lead five players in double figures but Texas State came up short against Idaho. The difference in the contest came from the free-throw line, as the Bobcats were outscored 24-11 from the charity stripe, while also coming out on the short end of a 28-18 deficit in rebounds.
Texas State is a team that can light up the scoreboard. The Bobcats are putting in the second most points per game in the conference (70.4 pg), despite shooting just 41.1 percent from the floor. However on defense Texas State has been miserable, allowing 76.4 points per game, while teams net 46.4 percent of their attempts from the field. Joel Wright (17.3 ppg, 6.5 rpg) has been one of the best scorers in the conference, while pacing the Bobcats. Staff (11.4 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 1.3 bpg) is the top player in protecting the rim and is the only other player on the roster scoring in double figures.
Utah State has been depleted by injuries and that was evident in a 61-46 loss to Texas-Arlington last time out. The Aggies managed just 14 total field goals and shot 30.4 percent from the field in the contest.
Preston Medlin (16.2 ppg) and Kyisean Reed (12.1 ppg, 6.5 rpg) were each lost to injury earlier in the season and the hits kept coming when Spencer Butterfield (12.0 ppg, 6.3 rpg) bruised his hip earlier this month forcing him to miss the game with Texas-Arlington. Jarred Shaw (14.1 ppg, 8.3 rpg) is still healthy and has been an efficient scorer and productive rebounder, as he shoots 53.2 percent from the field, while ranking among the top five players on the boards. He is the only healthy player on the team scoring in double figures with Butterfield listed as doubtful for this battle.
With so many important contributors sidelined, Utah State doesn't have the depth to really have a chance at a WAC title. However the Aggies may have just enough to win at home against Texas State.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Utah State 68, Texas State 62
03/07 10:35:04 ET