- Utah State (5-5) will appear in the opening game of the Beehive Classic, facing Utah (6-2) at Vivint Smart Home Arena on Saturday, Dec. 9, at 5:30 p.m.
- The series with Utah is the second longest in school history for Utah State as the teams have met a total of 223 times, but have not played since the 2010-11 season. The Utes have a 128-95 advantage, but the Aggies have won seven of the last 11.
- Utah State is 3-4 all-time at Vivint Smart Home Arena with victories over Southern Utah (76-63) during the 1994-95 season, Wyoming (73-72) during the 1996-97 season and San Diego State (64-61) during the 1997-98 season.
- Utah State is 253-298 all-time against Division I opponents from the state of Utah, posting a 95-128 mark against Utah, 92-142 against BYU, 12-0 against Southern Utah, 12-0 against Utah Valley and 42-29 against Weber State.
- Utah will mark the third in-state opponent for Utah State this season, as the Aggies lost 65-59 in the season opener at Weber State and lost 75-66 to BYU on Saturday, Dec. 2.
- Utah State is a combined 45-19 against teams from the state of Utah since, now head coach, Tim Duryea has been a member of the coaching staff. Since the 2001-02 season, USU is 7-10 against BYU, 6-0 against Southern Utah, 6-4 against Utah, 12-0 against Utah Valley and 14-5 against Weber State.
- Sophomore guard Sam Merrill has scored in double figures in each of the last eight games for Utah State, leading the Aggies in scoring in six of the last seven contests. Merrill is averaging 17.1 points per game over the eight-game stretch.
- Utah State has shot better than its opponents from behind the 3-point line in each of the last three games.
Utah enters the game on Saturday night with an overall mark of 6-2 and coming off of an 81-69 loss at Butler.
The Utes are led offensively by former Aggie David Collette with 13.8 points per game, followed by Donnie Tillman with 12.0, Justin Bibbins with 10.8 and Sedrick Barefield with 10.3 points per game, respectively. Bibbins also leads the team with 35 assists on the year. Overall, Utah is averaging 78.2 points per game and shooting 46.1 percent (218-of-473) from the floor, 33.8 percent (67-of-198) from behind the 3-point line and 78.3 percent (123-of-157) at the free throw line.
Defensively, Utah opponents are averaging 67.6 points per game and shooting 40.5 percent (193-of-476) from the floor, 25.1 percent (44-of-175) from behind the 3-point line and 67.3 percent (111-of-165) at the free throw line. Tyler Rawson leads the Utes with 12 blocks and Barefield leads the team with eight steals.
Head coach Larry Krystkowiak is in his sixth season at the helm of the Utah program, guiding the Utes to an overall mark of 111-87 over that span.
Clutch Free Throws
Sophomore guard Koby McEwen sealed Utah State’s 62-59 victory over UC Irvine with a pair of free throws with five seconds on the clock. McEwen leads the Aggies from the free throw line with less than a minute to play, converting 6-of-8 from the charity stripe.
Sophomore guard Sam Merrill is currently second in the Mountain West, averaging 34.3 minutes per game. Merrill is also among the top-10 in scoring in the league, ranked 10th with 15.1 point per game.
Eating the Offensive Glass
Utah State senior forward Alex Dargenton has pulled down more offensive rebounds than defensive rebounds this season, totaling 23 offensive boards and 22 defensive boards.
Locking Down the 3-point Line
Utah State has had a staunch defensive effort against 3-point shooters over the last three games, holding each opponent to less than 30 percent from long range in each contest.
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