Feb. 17, 2014
LOGAN, Utah - Utah State (15-10, 5-8 MW) men's basketball returns to the road when the Aggies head to San Diego, Calif., to take on nationally-ranked San Diego State (22-2, 11-1 MW), who is sixth in the AP Poll and seventh in the USA Today/Coaches Poll, on Tuesday, Feb. 18. Tip-off from SDSU's Viejas Arena at Aztec Bowl (12,414) is slated to 9:05 p.m. (MT).
Tuesday's game will be nationally televised on ESPNU (Comcast Ch. 400, Direct TV Ch. 208, Dish Network Ch. 141), with play-by-play from Steve Quis and analysis from Dan Dickau. Tuesday's game will also be streamed online via Watch ESPN, both online and the "Watch ESPN" app, and will also be aired on the radio and audio streamed online on the Aggie Sports Network through on USU's website, www.UtahStateAggies.com.
USU head coach Stew Morrill enters Tuesday's game with 599 career wins, needing one more to become the 14th active Division I head coach and the 41st all-time Division I head coach with 600 wins.
Tuesday's match-up features the top two experienced coaches in the Mountain West and among the most in the nation. USU head coach Stew Morrill is in his 28th season as a head coach and has the longest coaching tenure, as well as the most overall wins, of all the current Mountain West coaches. Morrill has amassed a 599-277 (.684) record in his 28th year. San Diego State's Steve Fisher is 488-255 (.657) in his 23rd season as a head coach.
Utah State and San Diego State will be meeting in San Diego for the first time since Nov. 24, 1998, and just the fifth time ever. The then seventh-ranked Aztecs' 74-69 OT win earlier this season on Jan. 25 in Logan was SDSU's first win in the series, which USU leads 3-0. The Aggies won the only meeting with the Aztecs in San Diego, 63-60, on Nov. 24, 1998, and have a 1-1 mark in Logan and 1-0 on a neutral court, meeting in Salt Lake City on Dec. 6, 1997, with the Aggies winning, 64-61. The four meetings is the fewest played series between USU and a Mountain West opponent, with the 14 meetings with Air Force the Aggies' next fewest played series.
USU is 16-95 (.144) all-time against Associated Press ranked teams including a 5-17 (.227) record under Morrill. The last time USU played an AP Top 25 team was in the first meeting this season between USU and SDSU, on Jan. 25 in Logan, with the Aztecs winning, 74-69 in overtime. Overall, USU has lost each of its last seven games against AP Top 25 teams with its last win coming on March 9, 2007, against No. 10 Nevada, 79-77, in the semifinals of the 2007 WAC Tournament. This is the first time that the Aggies have played more than one ranked team in a season since the 2001-11 season, when they played three, as well as the first time USU has faced the same team in a season twice being nationally ranked both times since the 2006-07 season, when the Aggies playing Nevada twice when the Wolf Pack were nationally ranked, winning 79-77 in both meetings, in OT at home on March 1, 2007 and in the WAC Tournament a week later on March 9, 2007.
Utah State men's basketball three-game win streak was snapped with a 73-62 loss to UNLV Saturday afternoon at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. The Aggies are now 15-10 overall and 5-8 in Mountain West action after having their three-game win streak stopped. USU senior center Jarred Shaw registered his third double-double in the last four games and sixth this season with a team-high 20 points to go with a game-high tying 12 rebounds. It was his fourth 20-point game this season and eighth of his career. Shaw also tied a career-high with three assists. Fellow senior, guard TeNale Roland tallied 12 points, posting double-digits for just the third time this season. Senior guard/forward Spencer Butterfield added 11 points and six rebounds, while senior guard Preston Medlin adding six points and dished out a team-high five assists. Saturday was Medlin's 100th career game, becoming the 26th player in Aggie history to play in 100 career games. Medlin now has 1,299 career points, needing one more to become the 16th player in USU history with 1,300 career points.
USU leads the Mountain West overall statistics in three-point field goal percentage (.414), rebound margin (+7.0), assists (16.7), as well as ranking second in free throw percentage (.747), field goal percentage (.472) and assist-turnover ratio (1.5). The Aggies are also fourth in both scoring defense (66.9) and three-point field goal percentage defense (.312). USU is also fifth in field goal percentage defense (.424) and rebounds (36.5), as well as tied for sixth in blocks (3.9), seventh in both scoring (71.4) and scoring margin (+4.5) and 11th in steals (3.2).
Individually, senior guard Preston Medlin is second in the league in both assists (4.4) and assist-turnover ratio (3.0), while ranking tied for fourth in three-point field goals made (2.4). Senior center Jarred Shaw is 12th in the conference in scoring (14.7), ranking fourth in both field goal percentage (.487) and free throw percentage (.827), as well as eighth in both rebounds (8.0) and blocks (1.3). Fellow senior, guard/forward Spencer Butterfield is 18th in scoring (13.5), 14th in rebounding (6.2) and eighth in three-point field goals made (2.2). Sophomore forward Kyle Davis is seventh in blocks (1.4) and 10th in rebounds (7.7). Fellow sophomore, guard Marcel Davis, is third in assist-turnover ratio (3.0) and eighth in assists (3.1). Senior guard TeNale Roland has a 3.30 assist-turnover ratio, which would rank second in the league, but he doesn't meet the minimum requirement of 3.0 assists per game, currently at 2.64.
The Aztecs are ranked No. 6 in the AP Top 25 Poll and No. 7 in the USA Today/Coaches Top 25 Poll and they are 22-2 overall and 11-1 in MW action, suffering their first league loss last week at Wyoming, 68-62, but bouncing back to beat Air Force, 64-56, Saturday in San Diego. The loss at Wyoming snapped the Aztecs' 20-game overall and 10-game Mountain West win-streak. In the win over Air Force, sophomore forward Winston Shepard led SDSU with 16 points, adding nine rebounds, while senior guard Xavier Thames and junior forward Dwayne Polee II tallied 13 points apiece and senior forward Josh Davis snared 10 rebounds.
Thames is third in the MW in scoring at 17.7 ppg, while ranking fourth in steals (1.6) and sixth in free throw percentage (.819, 140-of-171). Thames is shooting a team-high 40.9 percent (45-of-110) from three-point range, a mark that would rank third in league, but doesn't meet minimum requirement of 2.5 per game (1.88). Davis is second in the league and seventh in the nation in rebounding (10.9 rpg), adding 8.9 ppg, while sophomore forward Skylar Spencer is third in the conference in blocked shots (2.6). Shepard is 10th in the league in steals (1.2), ranking second on the team in scoring at 12.9 ppg. Junior forward JJ O'Brien is 20th in rebounding (5.4), adding 8.6 ppg.
As a team, SDSU leads the MW and ranks third in the MW in scoring defense (57.0), while ranking sixth in the conference in scoring offense (72.5), to rank first in the league and fifth in the nation in scoring margin (+15.5). The Aztecs are also eighth in the league field goal percentage (.439), fourth in three-point field goal percentage (.359) and 11th in free throw percentage (.655). Defensively, SDSU is first in the conference and fourth in the country field goal percentage defense (.377) and second in the league and seventh in the nation in three-point field goal percentage defense (.281), as well as second in the league and 27th in the nation rebounding margin (+5.7), second in the conference and 22nd in the country in blocked shots (5.8) and first in the league in steals (7.4). The Aztecs also rank first in the MW and 14th in the NCAA turnover margin (+3.7), as well as 10th in the league in assist-turnover ratio (1.0) and 11th in the conference in assists (10.0).
*** CONTINUED IN GAME NOTES
The Aggies return home to host Fresno State on Saturday, Feb. 22 in a 7 p.m. (MT) tipoff at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
For Utah State men's basketball ticket information, fans can contact the USU Athletics Ticket Office over the phone by calling 1-888-USTATE-1 or 435-797-0305 during regular hours of operation. Fans can also buy their tickets in person at the USU Ticket Office inside the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum or online by clicking on the "Buy Tickets" tab at www.UtahStateAggies.com.
Fans can follow the Aggie men's basketball program at twitter.com/AggieHoops. USU fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program at twitter.com/USUAthletics, on facebook at Utah State University Athletics or on instagram at instagram.com/USUAthletics.
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