Feb. 24, 2014
LOGAN, Utah - To open its final road stretch of the regular-season, Utah State (15-12, 5-10 MW) men's basketball heads to Albuquerque, N.M. to take on No. 25/RV New Mexico (21-5, 12-2 MW), who is No. 25 in the AP Poll and second among receiving votes in the USA Today/Coaches Poll, on Tuesday, Feb. 25. Tip-off from UNM's The Pit/Bob King Court (15,411) is slated for 7:05 p.m. (MT) and will be nationally televised on CBS Sports Network. John Sadak will handle play-by-play, with analysis from Steve Lappas and Lauren Gardner as the sideline reporter.
While it will be televised, Tuesday's game will not be video streamed online. It 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 is 16-96 (.143) all-time against Associated Press ranked teams including a 5-18 (.217) record under Morrill. Tuesday is USU's second game against an AP Top 25 team in its last three games, playing at No. 6 San Diego State on Feb. 18, losing 60-45. This is the third AP Top 25 team USU is facing this season, after taking on San Diego State twice, first when the Aztecs were No. 7 on Jan. 25 in Logan, with the Aztecs winning, 74-69 in overtime, and the aforementioned Feb. 18 meeting in San Diego.
Overall, USU has lost each of its last eight 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 three nationally ranked teams in the same season since the 2010-11 season, playing at No. 23 BYU (L, 78-72) and No. 14 Georgetown (L, 68-51) and facing No. 21 Kansas State (L, 73-68) in the NCAA Tournament.
Utah State and New Mexico will be meeting in Albuquerque for the first time since any of the players involved in Tuesday's game were born, as the last time the Aggies and Lobos tangled on the hardwood in The Duke City was Dec. 29, 1979 in Albuquerque, winning, 117-83. This season's first meeting on Jan. 28 in Logan won by UNM, 78-65, marked the Lobos' first trip to Logan since the 1961-62 season. The teams first met in the 1951-52 season, and Utah State leads the all-time series, 19-5. New Mexico's win this season snapped USU's four-game win streak in the series, as the Aggies have won 12 of the last 14 meetings. USU is 9-4 in games at Albuquerque.
Utah State men's basketball rallied from down as much as 16 points in the first half and took the lead early in the second half, but couldn't hold onto it, falling to Fresno State, 79-76, Saturday at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. With the loss, USU is now 15-12 overall and 5-10 in Mountain West play.
USU leads the Mountain West overall statistics in three-point field goal percentage (.407), rebound margin (+6.5), assists (16.6) and assist-turnover ratio (1.5), as well as ranking second in free throw percentage (.743) and field goal percentage (.463). The Aggies are also fourth in scoring defense (67.1) along with fifth in three-point field goal percentage defense (.321) and rebounds (36.3). USU is also sixth in field goal percentage defense (.425), along with seventh in blocks (3.9) and scoring margin (+3.5), eighth in scoring (70.6) and 11th in steals (3.3).
Individually, senior guard Preston Medlin is second in the league in both assists (4.3) and assist-turnover ratio (2.9), while ranking fifth in three-point field goals made (2.3). Senior center Jarred Shaw is 13th in the conference in scoring (14.6) and eighth in rebounding (8.1), also ranking third in field goal percentage (.492) and fifth in free throw percentage (.827), as well as eighth in blocks (1.3). Fellow senior, guard/forward Spencer Butterfield is 19th in scoring (13.2), 15th in rebounding (6.0) and eighth in three-point field goals made (2.1). Sophomore forward Kyle Davis is seventh in blocks (1.4) and ninth in rebounds (7.8). Fellow sophomore, guard Marcel Davis, is third in assist-turnover ratio (2.8) and eighth in assists (3.0). Senior guard TeNale Roland has a 3.22 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 2.74.
Utah State has five top 20 marks in the recent NCAA statistical categories, updated and released on Feb. 24, including ranking fourth in the nation in three-point field goal percentage (.407), eighth in assists per game (16.6), 14th in assist-turnover ratio (1.48), 15th in total assists (448) and 17th in rebounding margin (+6.5). The Aggies also are 32nd in free throw percentage (.743), 67th in turnovers per game (11.2), 68th in three-point field goal percentage defense (.321), 73rd in field goal percentage (.463) and 92nd in scoring defense (67.1).
Individually, senior guard Preston Medlin is 19th in the country in assist-turnover margin (2.95), while sophomore guard Marcel Davis is 25th (2.81). Senior center Jarred Shaw is 88th in overall rebounding (8.1), also ranking 43rd in defensive rebounds per game (6.1). Sophomore forward Kyle Davis is 50th in offensive rebounds per game (3.1).
The Lobos, who are ranking No. 25 in the AP Top 25 Poll and second among others receiving votes in the USA Today/Coaches Top 25 Poll, won their third-straight game and ninth in the last 10 with a 58-44 win over No. 6/7 San Diego State on Saturday in Albuquerque, improving to 21-5 overall and 12-2 in MW play. The SDSU win came on the heels of a 68-56 win at UNLV on Tuesday. In the win over UNLV, senior guard Kendall Williams netted 29 points while senior forward Cameron Bairstow posted 18 points. In Saturday's victory over SDSU, Bairstow logged 26 points and nine rebounds, while Williams added 10 points and dished out seven assists.
Bairstow leads the Lobos and the MW, as well as ranking 18th in the NCAA in scoring at 20.5 ppg, also topping the league and ranking 28th in the nation in field goal percentage (.562), as well as 12th in rebounding (7.2) and sixth in blocked shots (1.5). Williams is fourth in the conference in scoring (17.3), while leading the league in both assists (5.0) and steals (1.8), as well as fourth in both assist-turnover ratio (2.5) and minutes played (35.4), and 10th in three-point field goals made (2.0). Junior center Alex Kirk is second in the league and 25th in the nation in blocked shots (2.8), as well as ranking 14th in the conference in scoring (14.0), sixth in rebounding (8.5) and fifth in field goal percentage (.480). Junior guard Hugh Greenwood is first in the conference and seventh in the country in assist-turnover ratio (3.7), while ranking sixth in the league in assists (3.4).
As a team, New Mexico is second in scoring offense (75.7) and fifth in scoring defense (68.0), to rank third in scoring margin (+7.7). The Lobos are fourth in field goal percentage (.458), sixth in three-point field goal percentage (.345) and fourth in free throw percentage (.728). UNM's defense is second in field goal percentage defense (.393) and ninth in three-point field goal percentage defense (.355), as well as fifth in rebounding margin (+4.7), third in blocked shots (5.2) and seventh in steals (5.1). New Mexico is also second in both assists (15.1) and assist-turnover ratio (1.5), along with fifth in turnover margin (+0.0).
*** CONTINUED IN GAME NOTES
USU plays its final road game of the regular-season at San José State on Saturday, March 1 at 6 p.m. (MT), in another nationally televised game, on ROOT Sports. The Aggies then return home to host Wyoming on Wednesday, March 5 at 8 p.m. in USU's regular-season and home finale. The Aggies will be honoring their five seniors: Spencer Butterfield, Sean Harris, Preston Medlin, TeNale Roland and Jarred Shaw.
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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