Basketball Notes For The Week Of Dec. 18, 2000
Dec. 18, 2000
Up Next: Utah State will play two games this week before breaking for the Christmas holiday. First, the Aggies will travel to Riverside, Calif., to play UC Riverside on Wed., Dec. 20, at 8 p.m. (MST), then host Weber State at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum on Sat., Dec. 23, at 7:05 p.m. The Highlanders are 3-5 on the season, while the Wildcats are 5-3.
A Look At UC Riverside: UC Riverside is 3-5 on the season after losing at Cal Poly 95-72. The Highlanders are 2-1 at home on the year, defeating Cal State Fullerton (59-52) and Weber State (89-68), and losing to San Jose State 55-58 in overtime. UCR also defeated Oregon State on the road 67-63. Sophomore forward Mark Miller leads the team in scoring with a 14.0 points per game average. Is the only player for Riverside to average double-figures in scoring. The Highlanders return four starters and 10 letterwinners from last year's team that went 15-12 overall. Head coach John Masi is in his 22nd year at Riverside with an overall record of 423-185. The Highlanders will be joining the Big West Conference next season and are competing as an Independent this year.
Series History: Utah State and UC Riverside will be meeting for the first time ever this Wednesday. The Aggie and Highlanders will also play in Logan on Jan. 16, 2001.
Versus The Golden State: Utah State has won its last 12 games played against schools from the state of California, including a 76-67 win over Santa Clara earlier this year. Last season, USU went 11-0 versus school's from California. The last time USU lost to a team from California was in the first round of the Big West Tournament two years ago to UC Santa Barbara 75-74. All-time, USU is 251-169 (.598) versus teams from the Golden State.
Scouting The Wildcats: Weber State is 5-3 on the season after defeating Boise State 88-80 in overtime this past weekend in Ogden. The Wildcats also defeated Utah 79-77 in Salt Lake City, snapping the Utes 54-game homecourt winning streak. WSU split its two games with UC Riverside, winning at home and losing on the road. The Wildcats are 1-2 on the road this year and 3-0 at home. Sophomore guard Jermaine Boyette is averaging 20.3 points per game, while sophomore center Stephan Bachmann is scoring 13.8 points per game. Weber State returns two starters and nine letterwinners from last year's team that went 18-10 overall and 10-6 in the Big Sky Conference.
Series History: This will be the 51st meeting between Utah State and Weber State, with the Aggies holding a 27-23 advantage. The Wildcats have won the last two meetings between the two teams, including a 86-73 win in Ogden last year. The last time USU defeated WSU was on Dec. 27, 1997 in Logan by a final score of 71-65. The Aggies are 16-8 all-time against WSU in Logan.
Coach Morrill Versus The Competition: Utah State head coach Stew Morrill will be facing UC Riverside for the first-time ever. Against WSU, Morrill is 7-6 all-time. He was 7-3 against the Wildcats while at Montana, and was 0-1 at Colorado State. Since becoming USU's head coach, Morrill is 0-2 versus the Wildcats.
Versus The Big Sky Conference: Utah State is 168-94 (.641) all-time versus the Big Sky Conference, including a 59-55 win at Idaho State earlier this year. USU is 26-13 versus the Bengals, 28-14 versus Montana, 74-39 versus Montana State, 27-23 versus Weber State, 3-1 versus Portland State, 2-1 versus both Northern Arizona and Sacramento State, 4-0 versus Cal State Northridge, and 2-2 versus Eastern Washington.
Next Week: Utah State will be hosting the seventh annual Gossner Foods Classic next weekend, Dec. 29-30 at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. The Aggies will face Albany in its first game at 8:05 pm, while Cornell while face Air Force at 5:30 pm. The consolation game will be at 5:30 pm on Dec. 30, with the championship game taking place at 8:05 pm. USU is 12-0 all-time in the tournament.
Road Streak Ends: After setting a school record with 10 straight roads wins over the past two seasons, USU's streak ended at BYU 69-67 this past Saturday. Those 10 straight road wins by the Aggies is a school record, breaking the old mark of six set during the 1961-62 season.
Losing Against BYU A Good Thing?: Despite losing to its in-state rival for the third straight year, maybe losing to the Cougars is a good thing for Utah State. After losing to BYU last year at home, USU went on to win 19 straight games before losing to Conneticut in the first-round of the NCAA Tournament. The Aggies also won 21 straight regular season games after losing to BYU last year.
Over At The Half: Utah State had made a habit of winning games on a regular basis when leading at half-time over recent years. In fact, USU had won its last 39 games when leading at the half before letting a 10-point half-time advantage slip away against Austin Peay State in the championship game of the Top of the World Classic. USU has however compiled a 46-2 mark when leading at halftime over its last 47 games.
One And Done: Utah State will be looking to keeps its streak of not losing two games in a row in tack this Wednesday at UC Riverside. The last time USU lost two games in a row was at the end of the 1998-99 season, a span of 42 games. The Aggies lost its last three games to end the year that season.
Not Themselve: Unlike last year when Utah State won every game in which it had the lead with five minutes remaining in the game, this year has not been as kind to the Aggies down the stretch. Eight games into the season, the Aggies have already lost two games in which they lead with five minutes remaining. In fact, USU had the lead in both of those games with one minute remaining. Furthermore, against Austin Peay, the Governors never led in the game and tied it with four seconds remaining before winning in overtime. Against BYU, USU held the lead for over 19 minutes in the second half before BYU hit two free-throws with seven seconds left to get the win.
Keep It Under 60: Utah State has been unbeatable as of late when its opponents score less than 60 points in a game. Thus far this year, USU is 3-0 when its opponents score less than 60 points, and the Aggies were 12-0 last season when its opponents didn't hit 60. The last time USU lost a game when its opponent didn't score 60 points was a 55-52 loss at New Mexico State on Feb. 25, 1999. Utah State is 15-0 since that game when allowing fewer than 60 points and 19-1 in two plus years under head coach Stew Morrill.
Long Range Bomber: Junior Tony Brown is on pace to become Utah State's all-time three-point shooter before his career is over. Brown is currently fourth all-time at USU in three-pointers made and attempted. The following is a breakdown of where Brown stands as of date on the USU career charts.
3-Pt. FG's Made 3-Pt. FG's Attemtped 1. Reid Newey 237 1. Jay Goodman 580 2. Jay Goodman 209 2. Reid Newey 572 3. Justin Jones183 3. Justin Jones408 4. Tony Brown 144 4. Tony Brown 360 5. Troy Rolle 112 5. Troy Rolle 304
11-Game Home Court Winning Streak: Utah State has won its last 11 games at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum dating back to Jan. 8, 2000. USU's last loss at home was a 82-73 decision to BYU. USU has won 24 of its last 25 games at home.
Morrill Going For 50th Win: Utah State head coach Stew Morrill will be going for his 50th win at Utah State this Wednesday at UC Riverside. He would become the seventh coach in the history of Utah State basketball to record at least 50 wins.
Second-Half Defense: Utah State turned up its defensive pressure in the second half against Utah and allowed 19 points which was the fewest allowed by an Aggie team in the second half since Portland scored 19 in the championship game of the Gossner Foods Classic on Dec. 18, 1996. The last team to score that few of points in either half was Pacific who scored 18 in the first-half against USU in the first round of the Big West Tournament last year. Ironically, three nights later, Utah State allowed 19 second-half points to Montana Tech as well.
Highlanders vs. Highlanders: If things would have been different 30 years ago at Utah State, this game against UC Riverside would have the USU Highlanders playing against the UC Riverside Highlanders. A movement was made in 1970 to change the nickname of Utah State from the Aggies to the Highlanders, but was later nullified. Aggies Go When Brown And Daniels Go: It is becoming more and more apparent than the key to Utah State's success is related to Tony Brown and Shawn Daniels having good offensive nights. The Aggies have won 12 of its last 13 games when Brown scores in double-figures, and is 24-6 over the past two seasons when Daniels scores 10 or more points. Furthermore, Utah State is 9-0 when Daniels has a double-double and 6-0 when Brown scores 20 or more points in a single game.
Home Sweet Home: Utah State has had tremendous success at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum since the building was opened for the 1970-71 season. In its first 30 years, USU has had only one losing season at home, with a 3-8 record during the 1981-82 year. All-time, Utah State is 325-96 (.772) at home. Over the past three seasons, the Aggies have compiled an incredible 46-3 (.939) record at home. USU has won 56 of its last 59 games at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum dating back to the 1996-97 season.
Morrill Comfortable At Home: Utah State head coach Stew Morrill is very comfortable at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, and his record would confirm that fact. Since becoming USU's head coach prior to the 1998-99 season, Coach Morrill is 31-3 (.912) at home. The only other Aggie coach to have similiar success at the Spectrum was Dutch Belnap who went 31-1 in his first 32 games at home.
Sellout At The Spectrum: Utah State had its 20th sellout at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum this past Wednesday against Utah. The largest crowd ever to see a game at the Spectrum was on Jan. 20, 1973 when 11,114 fans packed the house to see the Aggies face BYU.
Close Losses: Utah State has struggled a bit thus far in close games as the Aggies are 5-2 in games decided by nine points or less and 3-2 in games decided by four points or less. Last year, USU was 12-2 in games decided by nine points or less.