UC Santa Barbara (14-8) at Utah State (14-13)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 18th, 9:00 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: : Dee Glen Smith Spectrum (10,270) -- Logan, Utah. Television: ESPN3.com. Home Record: UCSB 8-3, Utah State 12-3. Away Record: UCSB 6-5, Utah State 2-10. Neutral Record: UCSB 0-0, Utah State 0-0. Conference Record: UCSB 9-3 Utah State 5-6. Series Record: Utah State leads, 39-23.
GAME NOTES: The Gauchos of UC Santa Barbara invade the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum this evening for a BracketBuster clash with the Utah State Aggies.
UC Santa Barbara arrives in Utah off an 85-62 win over UC Irvine on Wednesday night in a Big West encounter. The Gauchos have won their last two games and five of their last six. They are 6-5 on the road this season.
Utah State had a tougher time than expected with NAIA foe Montana Tech on Wednesday night. The Aggies actually trailed by four points at halftime before going on to a 70-58 homecourt win. Utah State, which plays in the WAC, has now won two of its last three and is 12-3 at the Dee Glen Smith Center this season.
This will be the 63rd meeting between the two schools. The Aggies have a 39-23 advantage. The teams first met in December of 1970 but this is their first meeting since November of 2008.
Orlando Johnson had a big night for the Gauchos on Wednesday, scoring 25 points and pulling down 10 rebounds. Fifteen of his points came in the first half as the Gauchos bolted to a 44-29 advantage at the break. Kyle Boswell added 19 points off the bench. Johnson leads his team and the Big West in scoring at 19.1 points per game. He's hitting 44.2 percent from the floor, 39.6 percent from outside the arc, and 69.3 percent from the charity stripe. He's also averaging 6.1 rebounds per contest and dealing out a team-best 3.2 apg. James Nunnally is next on the scoring list at 14.7 ppg. He's shooting 45.6 percent from the floor and 74.7 percent from the line. Alan Williams is the leading rebounder on the ballclub at 6.3 boards per contest, which is fifth best in the conference. As a team, the Gauchos are shooting 45.3 percent from the floor and scoring 73.4 ppg. They are allowing 67.9 points per contest.
Preston Medlin was one of the few bright spots for Utah State Wednesday night. scoring 22 points and grabbing nine rebounds as the Aggies averted an upset loss. Brockeith Pane added 16 points off the bench. Medlin is the leading scorer on the ballclub at 15.7 ppg, while shooting 48.6 percent from the floor and 42.5 percent from outside the arc. Paine is averaging 12.0 ppg, while doling out four assists per game, although his assist-to-turnover ratio is a mediocre 1.3-to-1. Kyisean Reid is averaging 10.3 points per game while Morgan Grim is the leading rebounder among the regulars at 6.1 boards per contest. As a team, Utah State is shooting 47.4 percent from the floor and scoring 67.3 points per game. They allow 64.4 points per contest at the other end of the floor.
UC Santa Barbara is playing some of its best basketball of the season at present. A win in this BracketBuster matchup could help assure the Gauchos of a postseason bid of some sort.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: UC Santa Barbara 69, Utah State 64
02/18 10:45:55 ET