• Utah State (11-11, 4-5 MW) opens the second half of its Mountain West slate this week, traveling to Fresno State (15-6, 5-3 MW) on Saturday, Jan. 27, and facing the Bulldogs at 4 p.m. (PT).
• Utah State and Fresno State will meet for the 59th time, the 14th-longest series in USU history. USU leads the all-time series 34-24, but the Bulldogs hold a 16-8 advantage in Fresno.
• Utah State has shot 50 percent or better from the floor in two of the last three games.
• Utah State has outrebounded the opposition in three of the last four games.
• Merrill has been the top shooter for the Aggies in league play, shooting 59.4 percent (57-of-96) from the floor and 56.4 percent (31-of-55) from behind the 3-point line. Merrill is shooting better than 60 percent from both the field and from behind the 3-point line in each of the last five games, shooting 60.4 percent (32-of-53) and 62.1 percent (18-of-29), respectively.
• McEwen has been the top rebounder for the Aggies in league play, averaging 6.8 boards per game. Over the last five games, McEwen is averaging a team-best 8.2 rebounds per game. McEwen is tied for the team lead with 80 defensive rebounds on the year.
• Utah State has tallied 10 of its 11 victories this season when the Aggie starting backcourt has outscored their counterparts.
• Utah State is a perfect 9-0 on the year when taking a lead into the halftime break.
• Utah State is also perfect on the year, 7-0, when scoring 80 or more points in a game.
Scouting Fresno State
Fresno State is 15-6 on the year, 5-3 in conference play and has won each of its last three games over New Mexico (89-80), San Diego State (77-73) and UNLV (69-63).
Fresno State is averaging 78.4 points per game this year and shooting 49.7 percent (586-of-1,178) from the floor, 41.0 percent (148-of-361) from behind the 3-point line and 69.5 percent (326-of-469) at the free throw line. Individually, the Bulldogs have five players averaging double figures, led by Deshon Taylor with 18.8 points per game, followed by Bryson Williams with 12.9, Ray Bowles with 10.9, Jahmel Taylor with 10.6 and Jaron Hopkins with 10.5. Williams also paces the team on the glass, averaging 6.0 rebounds per game.
Defensively, teams have averaged 68.6 points per game while shooting 43.7 percent (494-of-1,131) from the floor, 37.4 percent (141-of-377) from behind the 3-point line and 73.9 percent (311-of-421) at the free throw line. Taylor leads the team with 33 steals and Nate Grimes leads the squad with 24 blocks.
Head coach Rodney Terry is in his seventh year at the helm at Fresno State, compiling an overall mark of 120-103 over that span.
I Am Sam
Sophomore guard Sam Merrill is proving to be one of the best in the Mountain West this season, appearing among the leaders in seven statistical categories in league play.
I Am Sam - Part II
Merrill has been the go-to player out of the intermission for Utah State, scoring the opening basket in the second half for the Aggies in 11 of 22 games this season.
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