(7) San Diego State (17-1) at Utah State (12-6)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 25, 11:05 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Dee Glen Smith Spectrum (10,270) -- Logan, Utah. Television: ESPNU. Home Record: SDSU 9-1, USU 10-1. Away Record: SDSU 5-0, USU 2-4. Neutral Record: SDSU 3-0, USU 0-1. Conference Record: SDSU 6-0, USU 2-4. Series Record: Utah State leads, 3-0.
GAME NOTES: Seeking to extend one of the nation's longest win streaks, the seventh-ranked San Diego State Aztecs head to the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum to do battle with the Utah State Aggies in Mountain West Conference play.
Since losing to Arizona in the second game of the season, the Aztecs have rattled off a staggering 16 straight wins, thanks in part to a 75-50 thumping of San Jose State just three nights ago. With that victory SDSU moved to a perfect 6-0 in conference play, the best start to a league schedule since the 1966-67 campaign when the team competed in the California Collegiate Athletic Association. The overall win streak is the second-longest in school history.
As for the Aggies, they've hit a few bumps in the road this season, but still they are one of the most successful home teams in the Mountain time zone. This year USU is 10-1 in Logan, but just 2-4 on the road which is where they were a few nights back when they bowed to UNLV in Sin City, 62-42.
Held to their fewest points of the season by the Runnin' Rebels, the Aggies have dropped two straight and three of the last four, turning them to 2-4 in conference.
The Aztecs are seeking their first-ever win in the series with USU, trailing by a 3-0 margin entering tonight. However, that may be a bit misleading given that this is the first meeting since 1998. Then again, working in favor of the Aggies is the knowledge that the only other time the teams locked up in Logan the hosts turned in a lopsided 101-57 decision, albeit during the 1962-63 campaign.
San Diego State shot just 29.0 percent from the field in the meeting with San Jose State on Wednesday night, yet the visitors still responded with a 25- point victory in the end. Josh Davis registered a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds, posting his 12th straight double-digit rebounding effort. Also scoring in double figures for the Aztecs were Xavier Thames with 15 points and Winston Shepard and Skylar Spencer with 12 points apiece.
The numbers for the Aztecs on the season overall are quite impressive, holding opponents to a paltry 55.4 ppg on only 35.3 percent accuracy from the field and 25.9 percent behind the 3-point line. All of those stats put SDSU in some exclusive company on a national level, and it doesn't hurt that the offense is generating 74.2 ppg in order to produce a scoring margin of +18.8.
In conference play the scoring margin jumps to an astounding 25.7 ppg thanks to Thames and Shepard who are generating 15.1 and 13.9 ppg, respectively. But still, it is the defense that is making the biggest difference of all, limiting league foes to a minuscule 31.8 percent from the floor and a dismal 20.7 percent out on the perimeter.
After putting up 74 points against Boise State on the road just four nights earlier, the Aggies probably surprised themselves as they generated a feeble 42 points in the loss to UNLV on the road Wednesday night. Jarred Shaw was the only player in double figures for USU with 14 points, adding eight rebounds in the anaemic effort. The Aggies shot only 2-of-17 behind the 3-point line and 30.8 percent from the floor overall.
In half of their six league bouts the Aggies have been held to less than 58 points, which explains why they are averaging just 64.2 ppg overall versus the rest of the MWC. Shaw, who missed one of those games during a suspension, is tops in the scoring department with 16.0 ppg and is second on the glass with 8.0 rpg, but having a mere three assists in more than 29 minutes per game is nothing to brag about. Preston Medlin and Spencer Butterfield check in with 11.8 ppg, the former posting 26 assists along the way.
The Aggies do have some talent on the roster in Shaw, Medlin and Butterfield, but they experienced what a mediocre defense could do to them and now they are going up against one of the best in the business, which doesn't bode well for the hosts tonight.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: San Diego State 68, Utah State 55
01/25 10:22:22 ET