Utah State (14-2) at Denver (10-7)|
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 19, 6:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Magness Arena (7,200) -- Denver, Colorado.
Television: ROOT-RM. Home Record: Utah St. 10-1, Denver 7-2. Away Record: Utah
St. 4-1, Denver 3-5. Neutral Record: Utah St. 0-0, Denver 0-0. Conference
Record: Utah St. 5-1, Denver 6-1. Series Record: Utah State leads, 53-36.
GAME NOTES: Two of the top teams in the Western Athletic Conference collide at
Magness Arena on Saturday, as the Denver Pioneers play host to the Utah State
Joe Scott's Pioneers are on a roll right now, entering this showdown with wins
in six straight games and nine of their last 11 overall. The team currently
sits in second place in the WAC standings at 6-1 following Thursday's 73-37
whipping of San Jose State.
Stew Morrill's Aggies boast a better overall record at 14-2, although the team
had a 13-game win streak snapped last time out, suffering its first league
loss in six WAC outings, with a 64-51 setback at New Mexico State on Thursday.
This marks the 90th meeting between these two teams on the hardwood, with Utah
State holding a 53-36 advantage. The Aggies had won nine straight in the
series prior to last year's 67-54 Denver win in Logan.
The Aggies don't put up gaudy scoring totals, averaging a modest 71.2 ppg on
the year, but they do make each trip down the floor count, shooting an
impressive .489 from the floor. Utah State has enjoyed superior play on the
boards as well, holding a +7.7 rebounding margin. Preston Medlin is the team's
top offensive threat, averaging 16.3 ppg, thanks in large part to his team-
high 33 3-pointers. While Medlin is delivering from the outside, both Jarred
Shaw (12.6 ppg, 8.4 rpg) and Kyisean Reed (12.1 ppg, 6.5 rpg) deliver from
An ugly first half did in the Aggies against New Mexico State on Thursday, as
the team could not overcome an 8-of-31 effort from the floor in the first 20
minutes. Utah State shot a much better 56.0 percent over the final 20 minutes,
but NMSU also delivered at a high rate (69.6 percent) to keep Utah State at
bay. Medlin led the way in defeat with 14 points. Shaw finished with 11
The Pioneers put on a shooting clinic in their rout of San Jose State,
converting 56.3 percent from the floor, including a ridiculous 73.9 percent in
the second half (17-of-23). Brett Olson and Chris Udofia led the way with 15
points apiece. Royce O'Neale added just seven points to the cause, but led the
team with 10 rebounds.
The offensive performance was a bit of an aberration for Denver, but the
defensive one was just another in a long line of standout performances at that
end. On the season, Denver is allowing foes to score just 54.6 ppg to rank
seventh nationally in that category. O'Neale and Udofia are the top scoring
options on the roster at 12.4 and 12.3 ppg, respectively. Chase Hallen is next
in line at 9.6 ppg, followed closely by Olson and his 9.1 ppg.
Utah State isn't intimidated on the road and certainly possesses the firepower
to knock off Denver, despite the Pioneers' strong defensive principles.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Utah State 65, Denver 63
01/19 10:31:15 ET