Feb. 3, 2012
FRESNO, Calif. -
GAME 24 Utah State (12-11, 4-4) vs. Frenso State (10-14, 2-6) Saturday, Feb. 4, 2012 8 p.m. (MT) Fresno, Calif. Save MartCenter (15,596) Radio: Aggie Sports Network TV: None
GAME DAY HEADLINES
Utah State is in its 107th season of basketball this year and has an overall record of 1,470-1,017 (.591). USU hasn't had a losing season since 1993, a span of 18 years.
Utah State is 7-3 on the season and 66-22 (.750) over the last 13 years following a loss including a 12-15 (.444) record on the road. Overall, the Aggies have lost back-to-back games just 19 times in the last 13 years and three-straight games just once since the 1999-2000 season.
Utah State has won 19 of its last 31 road games dating back to the 2009-10 season and is 97-80 (.548) in road games under head coach Stew Morrill including a 68-44 (.607) record against conference opponents and a 31-21 (.596) mark against WAC teams. USU is 2-9 on the road thus far this year.
Utah State has won 31 of its last 37 WAC games and is 58-13 (.817) against teams from the WAC during the last five seasons.
Utah State's 12-11 record through 23 games is its worst since the 1995-96 season when that team was 12-11 as well through its first 23 games of the season.
Utah State is 119-28 (.810) against teams from the state of California during the last 13 years, which includes a 41-23 (.641) record on the road.
As of Friday, Feb. 3, Utah State has an RPI of 141 and a strength of schedule of 121, while the Western Athletic Conference is ranked 12th overall. USU also has a sagarin rating of 127.
Utah State is 69-26 (.726) during the month of February under Morrill, which includes a 28-22 (.560) record on the road. USU is also 132-49 (.729 in games played on Saturday under Morrill and 7-2 (.778) all-time in known games played on Feb. 4.
Utah State is 11-2 this year and has won 60 of its last 62 games when leading at the half. Over the last 13 years, USU is 267-25 (.914) when leading at the half and 43-71 (.377) when trailing at the half.
Utah State is 4-3 this year and has won 110 of its last 115 games when holding its opponents under 60 points. Overall, USU is 175-15 (.921) under Morrill when allowing fewer than 60 points in a game.
Utah State (12-11, 4-4) will play its second and final road game during the month of February at Fresno State (10-14, 2-6) on Saturday, Feb. 4 at 8 p.m. (MT). The game will not be televised, but fans can listen to the game live on the Aggie Sports Network.
ON THE AIR
Utah State basketball games are broadcast live on KVNU (610 AM/102.1 FM) and KLZX (95.9 FM) in Logan, KZNS (97.5 FM) in Salt Lake City, KZNU (1450 AM) in St. George, KVEL (920 AM) in Vernal, KRPX (95.3 FM) in Price, and KLZX (105.3 FM) in Montpelier, Idaho, as well as on the internet at www.UtahStateAggies.com with Al Lewis (play-by-play) and Rod Tueller (analyst).
LOOKING AT UTAH STATE
Utah State is 12-11 on the season and 4-4 in Western Athletic Conference play following its 53-52 road loss at Nevada Thursday night. USU is led by sophomore guard Preston Medlin who is averaging 15.3 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game, while shooting 49.4 percent from the field, 43.7 percent from three-point range and 77.0 percent at the free throw line. Utah State has two other players scoring in double-figures as senior guard Brockeith Pane is averaging 12.4 points and 3.7 assists, while junior forward Kyisean Reed is averaging 10.4 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game. Senior forward Morgan Grim is averaging 9.1 points and a team-best 6.4 rebounds on the season. As a team, Utah State is averaging 67.3 points and shooting 47.1 percent from the field, 37.5 percent from three-point range and 70.4 percent at the free throw line. Defensively, USU is allowing 64.3 points and its opponents are shooting 40.9 percent from the field, 31.3 percent from three-point range and 66.5 percent at the free throw line.
UTAH STATE DURING ITS LAST FIVE GAMES
Utah State is 2-3 during its last five games and is averaging 66.2 points, while shooting 45.6 percent from the field, 34.5 percent from three-point range and 77.8 percent at the free throw line. Defensively, USU is allowing 64.0 points during its last five games while its opponents are shooting 42.7 percent from the field, 31.1 percent from three-point range and 63.0 percent at the free throw line.
MEDLIN NAMED WAC PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Utah State men's basketball player Preston Medlin has been named the Verizon Western Athletic Conference Player of the Week it was announced by the league office Monday. It is the first time in his career that Medlin has garnered the league's weekly honor. Medlin, a 6-4 sophomore guard from Carrollton, Texas (Hebron HS) led Utah State to a pair of WAC home wins last week against Hawai'i (77-72) and San Jose State (82-65). Against the Rainbow Warriors, Medlin scored 25 points as he was 5-of-11 from the field, 2-of-5 from three-point range and 13-for-14 at the free throw line. He also had two rebounds, two assists and one steal in the game. Against the Spartans, Medlin scored 15 points as he was 5-of-10 from the field, 3-of-6 from behind the arc and 2-for-2 at the line. He also had five rebounds, four assists and one steal in the game. For the week, Medlin averaged 20.0 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.0 steals per game, while shooting 47.6 percent from the field (10-21), 45.5 percent from three-point range (5-11) and 93.8 percent at the free throw line (15-16).
RANKING UTAH STATE IN THE WAC
As of Friday, Feb. 3, Utah State ranks first in the WAC in three-point field goal percentage defense (.313), second in scoring defense (64.3), second in field goal percentage (.471), third in field goal percentage defense (.409), third in free throw shooting (.704), third in three-point field goal percentage (.375), third in scoring margin (+3.0), and fifth in blocked shots (3.43).
RANKING UTAH STATE PLAYERS IN THE WAC
As of Friday, Feb. 3, sophomore guard Preston Medlin ranks third in the WAC in three-point shooting (.437), sixth in scoring (15.3), sixth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.64), eighth in assists (3.05), eighth in free throw shooting (.770), and 10th in overall shooting (.494). Junior forward Kyisean Reed ranks first in the WAC in field goal shooting (.626), sixth in blocked shots (1.14), and 13th in rebounding (5.0). Senior point guard Brockeith Pane ranks fifth in the WAC in free throw shooting (.800), sixth in assists (3.70), eighth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.20), and 13th in scoring (12.4). And senior forward Morgan Grim ranks sixth in the WAC in rebounding (6.4), eighth in blocked shots (0.87), and eighth in overall shooting (.524).
UTAH STATE RANKS 48TH IN THE NATION IN FIELD GOAL SHOOTING
As of Friday, Feb. 3, Utah State ranks 48th in the nation in field goal percentage (.471), 50th in three-point shooting (.375), 58th in turnovers per game (12.5), 59th in three-point field goal percentage defense (.313), and 79th in field goal percentage defense (.409).
DID YOU KNOW?
Utah State has three of the top 10 field goal percentage shooters in the Western Athletic Conference as junior forward Kyisean Reed is shooting 62.6 percent to rank first, senior forward Morgan Grim is shooting 52.4 percent to rank eighth, and sophomore guard Preston Medlin is shooting 49.4 percent to rank 10th. In WAC games, Reed is shooting 64.8 percent to rank second, while Grim is shooting 60.0 percent to rank fifth, and Medlin is shooting 49.4 percent to rank 12th.
LOOKING BACK AT THE NEVADA GAME
Nevada's Deonte Burton hit an off-balance three-pointer with 11 seconds remaining to lead the Wolf Pack to a come-from-behind 53-52 home win against Utah State Thursday as the Wolf Pack becomes the first team since Fresno State in 2007 to sweep the season series from the Aggies. Sophomore guard Preston Medlin led Utah State with 15 points including 13 in the second-half, while senior point guard Brockeith Pane finished with 12 points, five rebounds and five assists. Junior forward Kyisean Reed added eight points and a career-high tying 10 rebounds, while sophomore forward Mitch Bruneel added a career-high six rebounds off the bench as Utah State dominated the glass and out-rebounded Nevada by 16 (43-27). Malik Story had 18 points and Burton added 13 to lead Nevada. Following Burton's three-pointer, Utah State had two chances to win the game as Reed couldn't handle a lob pass from sophomore guard/forward Danny Berger with five seconds remaining, but senior forward Morgan Grim grabbed the loose ball and missed a contested shot under the basket. Story was then fouled on the rebound with just over one second to play and missed the front end of a one-and-one free throw. Reed corralled the rebound and attempted a full court shot that fell harmlessly to floor to make the final score 53-52. Utah State finished the game shooting 40.4 percent (23-57), but made 53.8 percent of its field goals (14-26) in the second-half after shooting just 29.0 percent (9-31) in the first-half. USU also shot 35.7 percent from three-point range (5-14), but was just 1-of-4 (.250) from the free throw line. USU also had 18 offensive rebounds, which are its second-most of the season, while its 43 rebounds are a season-high. Overall, it was the sixth time this year that the Aggies had double-figure offensive rebounds. USU also had 14 assists, 16 turnovers, two blocked shots and four steals, while UN had nine assists, 11 turnovers, five blocked shots and 10 steals. Medlin scored Utah State's first points of the second-half on a three-pointer and USU later took its largest lead of the game at 36-29 with 13:42 to play following a three-point play from Pane to cap an 8-0 run. The Wolf Pack then scored the next six points to get within one and eventually tied the game at 42-42 with 7:22 remaining. UN eventually went up 49-48 with 4:00 left before USU regained the lead on a layup by Reed. Burton hit 1-of-2 free throws on Nevada's next possession to tie the game at 50-50, followed by a runner in the lane from Pane to give the Aggies a 52-50 lead with 2:11 to play. From there, USU turned it over and had a shot blocked on its next two possessions before the final play of the game on the lob pass to Reed. Story scored the first eight points of the game for Nevada to give the Wolf Pack an early 8-2 advantage. Utah State then scored six of the next seven points to get within 9-8 and took its first lead of the game at 12-11 with 9:12 to play on a layup by Berger. The Aggies took its largest lead of the half at 16-13 following a layup from Grim before Nevada scored six of the final eight points to take a 19-18 lead into the break. Utah State shot just 29.0 percent (9-31) in the first-half, including 0-of-6 from three-point range and 0-for-3 from the free throw line. Nevada shot just 30.4 percent (7-23) in the first-half, including 20.0 percent from three (2-10) and 50.0 percent at the free throw line (3-6). USU out-rebounded UN by 10 (26-16) in the first 20 minutes.
NOTABLES FROM THE NEVADA GAME
Utah State scored a season-low 52 points and is now 4-3 on the season when allowing less than 60 points in a game... USU had a season-high 43 rebounds, while its 18 offensive boards are its second-most of the year... USU's plus-17 margin on the boards is a season-high and its highest rebound differential since out-rebounding Montana Western by 19 last year... USU's 16 turnovers are tied for its third-most of the season.
UTAH STATE LOSES ANOTHER CLOSE GAME
Utah State is having a hard time closing games out this year as it is now 1-4 on the season in games decided by four or fewer points after losing at Nevada, 53-52. Entering this season, USU had won each of its last three games decided by four or fewer points.
UTAH STATE SCORES SEASON-LOW 52 POINTS AT NEVADA
After scoring a season-high 82 points in its previous game against San Jose State, Utah State scored a season-low 52 points in its last game at Nevada. On the season, Utah State is now 8-2 when it scores 70 or more points in a game and just 4-9 when it scores less than 70 points. Furthermore, USU has won 69 of its last 73 games when scoring at least 70 points and is 211-29 (.879) all-time under Morrill when scoring 70 points in a game.
UTAH STATE GETTING DEFENSIVE DURING ITS LAST FOUR GAMES
After allowing season-highs in overall shooting (.532) and three-point shooting (.571) in a 73-66 loss at Seattle, Utah State has played very good defense during its last four games as its opponents are averaging 61.8 points and shooting 40.5 percent from the field, 26.3 percent from three-point range and 62.3 percent at the free throw line.
AGGIES BLOCKING MORE SHOTS AND RECORDING MORE STEALS AS OF LATE
After ranking near the bottom of the WAC for most of the year in both blocked shots and steals, Utah State has increased its numbers in each of those categories during its last six games as it is averaging 4.5 blocked shots and 5.5 steals per game. During its first 17 games of the season, USU averaged just 3.1 blocked shots and just 3.5 steals per game.
UTAH STATE ALMOST AUTOMATIC FROM THE FREE THROW LINE AS OF LATE
After shooting just 68.9 percent from the free throw line (266-386) during its first 18 games of the year, Utah State has been almost automatic during its last four games as it is shooting 77.8 percent from the charity stripe (63-81).
REED SCORES 20-PLUS POINTS FOR SECOND TIME THIS YEAR AGAINST SAN JOSE STATE
For the second time this year, junior forward Kyisean Reed scored 20-plus points in a game as he had 21 points against San Jose State as he was 7-of-9 from the field and 7-for-7 at the free throw line. Overall, Reed has now scored in double-figures 11 times in his last 17 games and 12 times this year. Reed also has one double-double this year as he had 16 points and a career-high tying 10 rebounds to go along with a career-high three blocked shots against Fresno State. During his last five games, Reed is averaging 10.4 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.8 blocks, while shooting 66.7 percent from the field (20-30) and 80.0 percent at the free throw line (12-15).
REED TIES CAREER-HIGH WITH 10 REBOUNDS AT NEVADA
Junior forward Kyisean Reed tied his career-high in rebounds for the third time this year as he had 10 boards in his last game against Nevada. Reed also had 10 rebounds at Texas A&M - Corpus Christi and against Fresno State at home for his only double-double of the season as he also had 16 points against the Bulldogs.
MEDLIN HAS SCORED IN DOUBLE-FIGURES IN EACH OF HIS LAST SIX GAMES
Sophomore guard Preston Medlin has scored in double-figures in each of his last six games after scoring 15 points in his last outing against Nevada. Medlin also recorded his sixth 20-point game of the season with 25 points against Hawai'i. Overall, Medlin has scored in double-figures 18 times this year, including in 17 of his last 19 games, to go along with five 20-point games in his last 14 outings. For his career, Medlin has 18 career double-figure scoring games. During his last five games, Medlin is averaging 18.2 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3.0 assists, while shooting 48.4 percent from the field (30-62), 33.3 percent from three-point range (11-33) and 90.0 percent from the free throw line (20-22).
MEDLIN HAS MADE AT LEAST ONE THREE-POINTER IN ALL BUT TWO GAMES THIS YEAR
Sophomore guard Preston Medlin has made at least one three-pointer in each of his last 11 games and in all but two games on the season as he was 0-of-1 from behind the arc at Texas A&M - Corpus Christi and against Saint Peter's.
PANE SCORES IN DOUBLE-FIGURES FOR 16TH TIME THIS YEAR WITH 12 POINTS AGAINST NEVADA
Senior point guard Brockeith Pane scored in double-figures for the 16th time this year and 38th time in his career with 12 points against Nevada. Pane also has four 20-point games this year and seven in his career as he has scored at least 20 points in three of his last eight games. During his last five games, Pane is averaging 12.6 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.6 assists, while shooting 41.9 percent from the field (26-62), 46.2 percent from three-point range (6-13) and 83.3 percent at the free throw line (5-6).
BRUNEEL SCORES CAREER-HIGH 15 POINTS AGAINST SAN JOSE STATE
Sophomore forward Mitch Bruneel had his best offensive game of the season against San Jose State as he scored 15 points on 5-of-6 shooting, including 4-of-5 from three-point range and 1-for-2 at the free throw line. Those 15 points for Bruneel are the most for an Aggie reserve this year and marks the 10th time this season that a USU bench player has scored in double-figures. Bruneel entered the game against San Jose State having scored a total of seven points in his previous five games. During his last four games, Bruneel is averaging 4.0 points and 2.8 rebounds, while shooting 45.5 percent from the field (5-11), 50.0 percent from three-point range (4-8) and 50.0 percent at the free throw line (2-4).
GRIM SCORES IN DOUBLE-FIGURES FOR 10TH TIME THIS YEAR WITH 10 POINTS AGAINST SPARTANS
Senior forward Morgan Grim scored in double-figures for the first time in six games and for the 10th time this year with his 10 points against San Jose State. Grim has also recorded three double-doubles this year including a career-high 14 rebounds to go along with 14 points against Kent State. During his last five games, Grim is averaging 6.2 points, 5.0 rebounds and 0.6 blocks, while shooting 52.4 percent from the field (11-21) and 69.2 percent at the free throw line (9-13).
CLIFFORD RECORDS CAREER-HIGHS WITH 11 POINTS AND FOUR BLOCKS AGAINST HAWAI'I
Freshman redshirt forward Ben Clifford had one of his best games of the season against Hawai'i as he scored a career-high 11 points and blocked a career-best four shots. For Clifford, it was the second time in his career that he has scored in double-figures. During his last five games, Clifford is averaging 5.6 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.4 blocks, while shooting 57.9 percent from the field (11-19), 50.0 percent from three-point range (1-2) and 83.3 percent at the free throw line 5-6).
BERGER TIES CAREER-HIGH WITH 12 POINTS AGAINST HAWAI'I
Sophomore guard/forward Danny Berger tied his career-high with 12 points against Hawai'i as he played a career-high 36 minutes. Overall, Berger has now scored in double-figures six times this year. During his last five games, Berger is averaging 6.6 points, while shooting 27.3 percent from the field (9-33), 27.3 percent from three-point range (6-22) and 64.3 percent at the free throw line (9-14). Berger sat out the first six games of the year as a potential redshirt before seeing his first action of the season at Pacific.
DID YOU KNOW?
Junior forward Kyisean Reed's 92.3 percent shooting percentage (12-13) against Kent State ranks as the fourth-best single-game effort in the NCAA this year, while sophomore guard Preston Medlin's eight made three-pointers against Idaho State rank tied for the 11th-most in the NCAA this year behind three players who made 10 and seven players who made nine.
AGGIES WILL HOST UC SANTA BARBARA IN BRACKETBUSTER GAME
Utah State men's basketball will once again face a familiar foe during ESPNU's BracketBuster weekend, as it will host former Big West Conference rival UC Santa Barbara on Saturday, Feb. 18 at 7 p.m. (MT), in a non-televised game. Overall, it will be the second time in the last four years that USU and UCSB have played one another during this event. Utah State, who is 5-1 all-time in BracketBusters, will be playing its first non-televised game in the event in this its seventh year of participation. Utah State has won each of its last two BracketBuster games including a 75-65 road win at No. 24 Saint Mary's last year. USU also defeated Wichita State (68-58) at home during the 2009-10 season, lost at Saint Mary's (75-64) in 2008-09, defeated UC Santa Barbara (72-59) at home during the 2007-08 season, won at Oral Roberts (71-65) during the 2006-07 campaign, and defeated Northwestern State (66-63) at home during the 2005-06 season. UC Santa Barbara is 11-7 on the season and in second-place in the Big West with a 6-2 mark. The Gauchos, who are 4-4 on the road this year, return three starters and five seniors from last year's team that went 18-14 and finished in a tie for fourth-place in the Big West with an 8-8 record. UCSB ended its season with a 79-51 loss to Florida in the second round of the NCAA Tournament after defeating Pacific (79-67), Cal State Northridge (83-63), and Long Beach State (64-56) to win the Big West Tournament. Utah State and UC Santa Barbara will be meeting for the 63rd time with the Aggies owning a 39-23 all-time advantage including a 22-6 record at home. The last time the two teams met was on Nov. 17, 2008 in Santa Barbara with USU winning, 61-59. The last time the two teams played in Logan was on Feb. 22, 2008 in an ESPNU BracketBuster game as the Aggies won, 72-59. Overall, Utah State has won six straight games in the series, including each of the last six at home, and the last time UCSB defeated USU was on Feb. 6, 2003 in Santa Barbara, 62-50. The last time the Gauchos won in Logan was on Jan. 16, 1999, 66-65, in overtime. All nine Western Athletic Conference teams will be involved in this year's event, with Nevada and New Mexico State being the only WAC schools to have a televised game.
UTAH STATE TRENDS
Utah State is ... 11-2 on the season when leading at the half; 11-2 when it commits fewer fouls than its opponents; 10-4 when it has more defensive rebounds than its opponent; 11-6 when it shoots better from the field than its opponent; 10-4 when it blocks more shots than its opponent; 9-2 when it has more assists than its opponent; 9-4 when it shoots better from three-point range than its opponent; and 7-3 when it out-rebounds its opponent.
FROM THE BENCH
Utah State's bench has been very productive for the most part this year as it has scored in double-figures in all but five games and is averaging 16.1 points and 9.2 rebounds per game. Overall, USU's bench scoring ranks sixth in the WAC behind Louisiana Tech (25.6), Hawai'i (21.5), Idaho (18.5), New Mexico State (18.2) and San Jose State (17.9). Fresno State's bench is averaging 14.7 points to rank seventh in the WAC and Nevada's bench is averaging 12.8 points to rank eighth overall.
UTAH STATE STARTS SAME LINEUP IN EACH OF THE LAST 13 GAMES
After using seven different starting lineups during its first 10 games, Utah State has started the same five players (F-Grim, F-Reed, G-Pane, G-Berger, G-Medlin) in each of its last 13 games. Overall, USU has started eight different lineups and 11 different players and only senior forward Morgan Grim and sophomore guard Preston Medlin have started every game this year.
UTAH STATE FROM THREE-POINT RANGE
Utah State has made at least one three-point basket in 185 straight games and the last time USU did not make a three-pointer in a game was on Dec. 16, 2006 in Provo as BYU defeated the Aggies, 75-62. USU entered that game having made at least one three-pointer in 127 games dating back to Dec. 14, 2002 when BYU held USU without a three-pointer in a 66-56 win in Provo.
PANE NAMED WAC PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Senior point guard Brockeith Pane was named the Western Athletic Conference Player of the Week on Monday, Nov. 14 after leading Utah State to a season-opening 69-62 home win against Brigham Young. It is the first time in his career that Pane has been named WAC Player of the Week. Against the Cougars, Pane scored a game-high 21 points as he was 6-of-10 from the field, 1-of-3 from three-point range and 8-for-8 at the free throw line for his 23rd career double-figure scoring game and fourth-career 20-point outing. Along with his 21 points, Pane also had five assists, four rebounds and three steals in 30 minutes of action.
UTAH STATE HAS 12 STRAIGHT 23-WIN SEASONS
Utah State is one of just three teams in the nation to win at least 23 games in each of the last 12 seasons along with Gonzaga and Kansas. The previous USU record for consecutive 20-win seasons was three from 1962 to 1964. Overall, USU has won 20 or more games 26 times in school history. During the last 12 years, Utah State has averaged 25.8 wins per season.
AGGIES HAVE RECORDED A 10-GAME WINNING STREAK IN EACH OF THE LAST FOUR YEARS
Utah State is the only team in the nation to have winning streaks of at least 10 games in each of the last four seasons as it had a 10-game winning streak in 2008, a school-record tying 19-game winning streak in 2009, a 17-game winning streak in 2010 and a 17-game winning streak in 2011.
SCOUTING FRESNO STATE
Fresno State is 10-14 on the season and 2-6 in the Western Athletic Conference after posting a 65-55 home win against Idaho Thursday. The Bulldogs, who are 7-2 at home this year, are led by sophomore guard Kevin Olekaibe who is averaging 17.7 points per game, while shooting 37.4 percent from the field, 34.0 percent from three-point range and 80.2 percent at the free throw line. Senior guard Jonathan Wills is also scoring in double-figures for FS as he is averaging 10.5 points. As a team, Fresno State is averaging 65.3 points and shooting 42.2 percent from the field, 33.3 percent from three-point range and 72.1 percent at the free throw line. Defensively, FS is allowing 65.1 points per game and its opponents are shooting 45.3 percent from the field, 36.1 percent from three-point range and 67.5 percent at the free throw line. Fresno State returns two starters and five letterwinners from last year's team that went 14-17 overall and finished in seventh-place in the WAC with a 6-10 mark. Rodney Terry is in his first year as the head coach at Fresno State.
UTAH STATE VS. FRESNO STATE RIVALRY ONE OF THE OLDEST IN SCHOOL HISTORY
Utah State and Fresno State will be playing for the 51st time this weekend in what is the 15th-oldest rivalry in school history. USU's first game against the Bulldogs was on December 12, 1963.
UTAH STATE-FRESNO STATE SERIES HISTORY
Utah State and Fresno State will meet for the 51st time this weekend with the Aggies owning a 31-19 all-time advantage, which includes an 8-13 road record. Overall, USU has won 10 straight games in the series, including four straight on the road. Utah State won the first meeting between the two teams on Jan. 5 in Logan, 72-53. The last time FS won a game in the series was on Mar. 3, 2007 in Logan, 71-66, and the last time in defeated USU in Fresno was on Jan. 6, 2007, 79-70. Stew Morrill is 16-11 all-time against Fresno State, which includes a 12-4 record at USU.
UTAH STATE HAS HELD FRESNO STATE UNDER 60 POINTS IN EACH OF ITS LAST FIVE MEETINGS
Utah State has played tremendous defense against Fresno State during its last five meetings as it has held the Bulldogs to less than 60 points in each of its last five games with wins of 69-43, 76-39, 52-39, 71-55 and 72-53 for an average margin of victory of 22.2 points (68.0 to 45.8). In fact, USU has an average margin of victory of 15.6 points (72.9 to 57.3) during its current 10-game winning streak against the Bulldogs.
DID YOU KNOW?
Utah State Director of Athletics Scott Barnes played basketball at Fresno State from 1984-85, and averaged 7.4 rebounds during his senior year to lead the team. He also earned second-team all-Pacific Coast Athletic Association honors as a senior. Barnes also ranks seventh all-time in FS history with 92 career blocks and 10th all-time in shooting percentage at 51.9 percent.
UTAH STATE VERSUS THE WAC
Utah State is 205-102 (.668) all-time against current members of the WAC and the Aggies have a winning record against every team in the league. In 2006, USU finished in a tie for second-place with an 11-5 league record and advanced to the conference's championship game. In 2007, USU finished in fourth-place with a 9-7 mark and again advanced to the WAC Tournament championship game. In 2008, Utah State won a share of its first-ever WAC regular season championship as it went 12-4 during the year. In 2009, Utah State won its first-ever outright WAC regular season title with a 14-2 league record and its first-ever WAC Tournament championship. In 2010, Utah State won its third-straight regular season WAC title with a 14-2 record. And last year, Utah State won its fourth-straight regular season WAC championship with a 15-1 league record, to go along with its second WAC Tournament title in the last three years.
Stew Morrill VERSUS THE WAC
Stew Morrill is 140-81 (.633) all-time in WAC games, which includes a 79-24 (.767) record at Utah State and a 61-57 (.517) record at Colorado State. Morrill is 116-64 (.644) all-time against current members of the WAC, which includes a 93-32 (.744) record at USU.
LAST MEETING AGAINST FRESNO STATE
Junior forward Kyisean Reed, sophomore guard Preston Medlin and a pair of first-half runs led Utah State to a 72-53 home win against Fresno State on Jan. 5, 2012 in Logan. Reed posted his first double-double of the season with 16 points and tied a career-high with 10 rebounds, to go with a career-high three blocked shots on the night as USU tied its season-high with seven blocks in the game. Medlin notched a game-high 19 points, while senior forward Morgan Grim also tallied double-figures, tossing in 10 points to go with eight boards, helping USU to a 31-25 rebounding advantage. All 11 Aggie players who suited up saw action Thursday, with eight different players scoring. Senior guard Brockeith Pane dished out a game-high seven assists. Fresno State also had three players in double-figures, led by Jonathan Wills with 16 points while Jerry Brown added 14 points and Kevin Olekaibe scored 11 points. USU shot a season-high 65.1 percent from the field (28-43), hitting 4-of-7 (.571) behind the arc, making its first three treys of the game. The Aggies also were 12-of-16 (.750) at the free throw line, making more than Fresno State shot, as the Bulldogs were 6-of-8 (.750). Fresno State was 22-of-58 (.379) field goal shooting, making just 3-of-16 (.188) from three-point range, with all three makes coming in the first half while missing their last eight of the game. After the Bulldogs took a 12-10 lead on a Olekaibe layup at the 13:30 mark, the Aggies reeled off a 13-0 run, started by a three-pointer from sophomore forward Mitch Bruneel. Grim capped the streak with a free throw to give USU a 23-12 lead with 8:52 left in the half. The Bulldogs scratched and clawed at the deficit, trimming it to 29-24 with 2:11 to go on a layup by Wills. That would be the closest Fresno State would get as Medlin regained control by hitting back-to-back three-pointers. Pane then provided the alley and Reed completed the oop with a jam in the waning seconds of the half to cap USU's 8-0 run and send the Aggies into the locker room with a 37-24 lead. The USU advantage grew to 46-27 after a Bruneel layup with 15:03 to go, completing a 15-2 Aggie spurt overlapping halftime. Fresno State cut the gap to 11 on two different occasions, the last at 54-43 with 8:38 left, but couldn't get any closer. The Aggie advantage swelled to its largest of the night at 21 with 1:07 to play after a pair of free throws by junior guard E.J. Farris made the score 72-51 and USU emptied its bench to seal the win.
LAST MEETING AGAINST FRESNO STATE ON THE ROAD
Senior forward Nate Bendall posted his fourth career double-double with 12 points and a career-high 16 rebounds in Utah State's 52-39 win at Fresno State on Jan. 15, 2011. Bendall, who played a career-high 36 minutes, posted the most rebounds by an Aggie since Shawn Daniels had 17 at Cal Poly during the 1999-2000 season. Senior forward Tai Wesley also scored in double-figures for Utah State as he finished the game with 12 points and five rebounds. Greg Smith led Fresno State with 10 points and nine rebounds. Leading by 11, Utah State scored four of the first five points of the second-half to take a 30-16 advantage following a Bendall layup and held a double-digit lead for the final 12:50 of the game as Fresno State could get no closer than nine points in the final 20 minutes. USU took its largest lead of the game at 43-28 with 8:42 to play following a Wesley layup and the visitors coasted to the 13-point win. Utah State finished the game shooting 43.8 percent from the field (21-48), 41.7 percent from three-point range (5-12) and 55.6 percent at the free throw line (5-9). Fresno State shot just 27.3 percent overall (12-44), including just 19.0 percent from behind the arc (4-21) and 47.8 percent at the charity stripe (11-23). The 39 points scored by the Bulldogs is tied for the fewest allowed by Utah State this year, while the 19.0 percent shooting from three by FS is a season-low for an Aggie opponent. Fresno State did win the battle of the boards, 35-34. Fresno State scored the first points of the game on a layup by Smith and Utah State scored the next eight points on a pair of three-pointers from senior guards Pooh Williams and Tyler Newbold, with a layup by Bendall in between. FS got within three points three different times in the first 20 minutes including at 13-10 with 6:50 to play. USU then finished the half on a 13-5 run as junior guard Brockeith Pane scored all eight of his points in the final 4:57 of the first-half on a pair of treys and a pull-up 15-footer and the Aggies went into the locker room up 26-15. The 15 first-half points scored by Fresno State were the fewest allowed by an Aggie team away from home since Idaho scored 15 points in the opening stanza of the quarterfinals of the 2002 Big West Tournament. Utah State was 9-of-20 from the field in the first-half (.450), including 4-of-7 from three-point range (.571) and 4-of-7 from the free throw line (.571). Fresno State shot just 16.7 percent in the first-half (4-24), including just 7.7 percent from behind the arc (1-13). The Bulldogs, however, were able to keep the game relatively close by making 6-of-8 free throws (.750) and winning the battle of the boards as it had a 22-14 advantage on the glass in the first-half, including a 12-4 advantage on the offensive end.
UTAH STATE'S PROBABLE STARTERS
F #21 Morgan Grim (6-7, 230, Sr., Riverton, Utah) - Scored in double-figures for the 10th time this year with 10 points against San Jose State... Recorded his third career double-double with 14 points and a career-high 14 rebounds against Kent State... Scored a career-high 20 points and played a career-high 42 minutes at Texas A&M - Corpus Christi... Had a career-high three blocks against Fresno State and at Louisiana Tech... Has played in 55 games at Utah State with 23 starts and in 96 games during his collegiate career.
F #34 Kyisean Reed (6-6, 215, Jr., Palmdale, Calif.) - Scored in double-figures for the 12th time this year with 21 points against San Jose State, which was his second 20-point game of the season... Recorded his first career double-double with 16 points and a career-high tying 10 rebounds against Fresno State to go along with a career-high three blocks... Scored a career-high 27 points against Kent State... Made his first career start at Texas A&M - Corpus Christi and recorded a career-best 10 rebounds.... Also had a career-high 10 rebounds at Nevada.
G #0 Brockeith Pane (6-1, 195, Sr., Dallas, Texas) - Scored a career-high 24 points at Louisiana Tech... Had a season-high six rebounds at Idaho and against Hawai'i... Has started 55 games for Utah State during his career and has played in 57... Has scored in double-figures in 16 games this year and in 38 games in his career... Also has four 20-point games this season and seven in his career... Tied his career-high with nine assists at Idaho State.
G/F #12 Danny Berger (6-6, 205, So., Medford, Ore.) - Tied his career-high with 12 points against Hawai'i for his sixth double-figure scoring game of the season... Had career-highs with seven rebounds and two steals against Seattle, to go along with a career-high six assists against Kent State... Sat out during the first six games of the season as a potential redshirt.
G #13 Preston Medlin (6-4, 175, R-So., Carrollton, Texas) - Scored a career-high 27 points and had a career-high eight assists against UT Arlington... Had a career-high nine rebounds at Louisiana Tech... Has scored in double-figures 18 times this year and 19 times in his career... Has six career 20-point games... Has scored in double-figures in 17 of his last 19 games and has scored 20 points five times in his last 14 games... Has played in 45 games at Utah State with 23 starts.
OFF THE BENCH
F #1 Ben Clifford (6-7, 225, R-Fr., South Jordan, Utah) - Scored a career-high 11 points and had a career-high four blocks against Hawai'i... Has made four of his last six three-point attempts... Tied his career-high with seven rebounds at No. 15 Mississippi State... Has started two games this year and played in 22.
G #11 Adam Thoseby (6-4, 185, Fr., Henley-on-Thames, England) - Made his first career start at Idaho State and scored a career-high 16 points to go along with a career-high three assists, while playing a career-best 24 minutes... Had a season-best three rebounds at Texas A&M - Corpus Christi... Has started two games this year and played in 19.
G #14 E.J. Farris (6-2, 185, Jr., Newark, Calif.) - Scored a career-high nine points against Fresno State and Seattle...Recorded a career-high five assists against Saint Peter's and played a season-best 18 minutes against the Peacocks... Has played in 40 games during his Aggie career.
F #15 Mitch Bruneel (6-5, 205, So., Boise, Idaho) - Scored a career-high 15 points against San Jose State... Made his first career start at Weber State and had eight points... Had a career-high six rebounds at Nevada... Played a season-high 23 minutes at Texas A&M - Corpus Christi...Has started seven games during the season and played in 22.
C #25 Jordan Stone (6-10, 270, Fr., Smithfield, Utah) - Made his first career start against Utah Valley and recorded a career-high eight rebounds... Had his best game as an Aggie at Pacific as he had a season-high seven points to go along with seven rebounds, while playing a season-best 23 minutes... Has started two games this year and played in 20.
F #40 Igor Premasunac (6-8, 245, Jr., Zagreb, Croatia) - Scored his first points as an Aggie at Louisiana Tech as he was 1-of-1 from the field... Saw his first action as an Aggie against Idaho State, playing 10 minutes... Had one rebound and one assist in the game... Has played in eight games overall this year.
F #22 Brady Jardine (6-7, 220, Sr., Twin Falls, Idaho) - Recorded a career-high 14 rebounds at Weber State for his eighth-career double-figure rebound game... Has started 10 games and played in 94 during his Utah State career... Scored in double-figures for the 18th time in his career with 12 points against BYU... Also had eight rebounds against the Cougars in a career-high 35 minutes... Has not played since injuring his foot against Southern Utah.
HEAD COACH Stew Morrill
In his 26th season as a collegiate head coach and 14th year at Utah State, Stew Morrill has taken the Aggie Basketball program to unprecedented heights leading it to an incredible 336-114 (.747) record, including a 171-53 (.763) conference mark in the Big West and WAC. Morrill became the winningest coach in school history on Jan. 17, 2008 in the Aggies' 82-78 win against Boise State, passing E. Lowell Romney (1920-41) who won 225 games in 22 seasons. In his first 13 years at USU, Morrill has guided the Aggies to 12 straight 23-win seasons and 12 straight postseason appearances (NCAA-8, NIT-4), both of which are school records. Morrill has also led Utah State to the fourth-best winning percentage in the nation during the last 13 years at 76.1 percent with an overall record of 321-101. Against conference opponents, Utah State has a 196-60 (.766) record with seven regular season league championships and six tournament titles during that time, including appearances in its league's tournament championship game 10 times in the last 12 years. Under Morrill, Utah State has notched 12 of the top 13 seasons in school history during the last 12 years as the Aggies set a school record with 28 wins during the 2000 season, tied that record with 28 wins during the 2001 season, set a new school record with 30 wins in 2009 and tied that record with 30 wins in 2011. During the 2010-11 season, Morrill guided Utah State to its fourth-straight Western Athletic Conference regular season championship and its second WAC Tournament title. Morrill was named the WAC Coach of the Year in 2011, along with being named the Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year by CollegeInsider.com. For the 12th straight year, USU had at least one player earn first-team all-league accolades as Brockeith Pane and Tai Wesley were both named first-team all-WAC in 2011, while Wesley was named the Player of the Year marking its third player of the year in the WAC in the last four seasons. Overall, Morrill has coached 14 first-team all-league players at Utah State who have won the award a total of 20 times. Morrill has also taken full advantage of the home court at USU, the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. In Morrill's first 14 years, USU is an amazing 203-15 (.931) at home, which includes a 103-9 (.920) record in league play. As for Morrill, he has won 20 or more games on 16 different occasions during his career, and he has won at least 17 games 21 times. Overall, Morrill ranks 16th in the nation among active coaches and 57th all-time with his 554 career wins, while his career winning percentage of 68.7 percent ranks 23rd among active coaches and 80th all-time. He is also one of just 11 active coaches to notch at least 16 20-win seasons. His current streak of 12 straight 20-win seasons ranks tied for fifth among active coaches and is tied for the ninth-longest streak ever at the Division I level. Morrill has also been named Coach of the Year (2000 BWC, 2002 BWC, 2009 WAC, 2010 WAC, 2011 WAC) five times in his first 13 years at USU, along with winning the Big Sky award while the head coach at Montana in 1991. His overall coaching record is 554-252 (.687).
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