USU Men's Basketball Returns To Action Saturday, Hosting San Diego Christian
Dec. 27, 2013
LOGAN, Utah - Returning to action after the Christmas break and to play its final non-conference game of the regular-season, Utah State (9-2, 0-0 MW) men's basketball will host San Diego Christian (3-4, 0-0 GSAC) on Saturday, Dec. 29. The match-up between the Aggies and Hawks is slated for a 7 p.m. (MT) tip off at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum (10,270).
Saturday's game will be not televised, but will be aired on the radio and audio streamed online on the Aggie Sports Network, as well as video streamed online through on USU's website, www.UtahStateAggies.com. Saturday's USU-SDCC game is the second half of a day-night doubleheader with the USU women's team, who play College of Idaho in a 2 p.m. start at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
Utah State has a 9-2 overall record after the Aggies went 3-0 in winning the Basketball Travelers, Inc., Classic sponsored by Gossner Foods, on Dec. 19-21, capping the tournament with a 71-50 toppling of Troy behind a 45-9 bench points scoring advantage. With the win, USU improved to 3-0 to win the BTI Classic, improving to 49-1 all-time in tournaments it hosts, including winning each of its last 48 tournament games. Senior guard/forward Spencer Butterfield was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player, and was joined on the all-tournament team by teammates senior guard Preston Medlin and sophomore forward Kyle Davis. Butterfield tallied a career-high 31 points to go with a season-high 10 rebounds in USU's 77-71 OT win over UCSB, finishing the tournament with 52 points for a 17.3 points per game averages. Medlin was the leading scorer among the Aggie starters Saturday night with eight points, while Butterfield and Davis posted seven points each.
Junior forward Danny Berger netted a season-high and tied a career-high with 17 points, while freshman forward Jalen Moore posted a career-high 11 points as the Aggie bench posted a season-high 45 points, compared to nine from the Trojans' bench. USU's 45 bench points was its most since scoring 48 against Montana Western on Feb. 16, 2011, a span of 86 games.
The Aggies have four players averaging in double-figures for the season, led by senior center Jarred Shaw with 16.1 points per game, while Butterfield nets 15.0 ppg, Medlin tallies 14.0 ppg and Davis adds 10.5 ppg. Shaw also averages 7.8 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game. He is shooting 54.3 percent (51-of-94) from the field, as well as a team-best 87.1 percent (27-of-31) from the free throw line. Shaw is suspended indefinitely for a violation of team rules. Butterfield is shooting a team-best 49.0 percent (24-of-49) from three-point range, as part of 54-of-106 (50.9 percent) from the field, adding 25-of-30 (83.3 percent) at the charity stripe. Butterfield also averages 6.3 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game. Medlin is shooting 47.4 percent (27-of-57) from three-point range, making 43.3 percent (45-of-104) of his field goals, adding 79.5 percent (31-of-39) at the free throw line.
Medlin also dishes out a team-leading 3.9 assists per game and is second on the team with a 3.3 assist-turnover ratio, as well as averaging 3.2 rebounds per game. Davis adds 7.7 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game. He is shooting a team-high 64.3 percent (36-of-56) from the field, while also shooting 54.8 percent (23-of-42) at the free throw line.
As a team, USU is averaging 75.6 points per game, while making just under half of its field goals at 49.2 percent (285-of-579), including 42.9 percent (78-of-182) from beyond the arc, as well as 75.4 percent (184-of-244) at the free throw line. Defensively, the Aggies are limiting the opposition to 65.5 ppg, while holding them to 41.6 percent (254-of-610) field goal shooting, including just 26.6 percent (47-of-177) from three-point range, as well as 73.5 percent (166-of-226) at the charity stripe. USU has a +9.4 rebounding margin (37.1-27.7), while averaging 17.6 assists, 4.4 blocks and 3.1 steals per game, as well as committing 11.6 turnovers per contest.
The Hawks are an NAIA school and compete in the Golden Sun Athletic Conference (GSAC). They have a 3-4 overall record, but Saturday's game will be SDCC's 15th game this season as the game against the Aggies will be an exhibition game for the Hawks, their eighth exhibition this season. It will be SDCC's third exhibition game against a Mountain West team, having played at San Diego State on Nov. 20, losing 93-41 and playing at Fresno State on Nov. 25, losing 92-59.
In its last game on Dec. 20, SDCC lost at Cal State San Marcos, 113-80. Cal State San Marcos was ranked No. 8 in the NAIA national rankings, and the 113 points scored was a school record, and they scored more points (113) than attendance (107). The loss to Cal State San Marcos snapped a two-game win streak for the Hawks.
Senior wing Andy Saharan leads SDCC with 20.7 points per game, but he has only played in three games. Senior guard Derek Dickerson has played in all seven official games this season, netting 12.7 points per game, leading the team with 19 three-pointers, making 32.2 percent (19-of-59) behind the arc. He also is 33-of-84 (39.3 percent) from the field, adding 4-of-6 (66.7 percent) at the free throw line. Junior guard Rafael Rodriguez and junior forwards Trevor English and Josh Richardson add 11.0, 10.6 and 10.3 ppg, respectively.
Rodriguez is shooting 46.0 percent (23-of-50) from the field, including 31.0 percent (9-of-29) from three-point range, adding 73.3 percent (11-of-15) at the charity stripe. English has made 47.4 percent (27-of-57) of his field goals, netting 33.3 percent (7-of-21) of his three-pointers, along with 61.9 percent (13-of-21) at the free pitch stripe. Richardson leads the team with 6.4 rebounds per game, as well as shooting 46.6 percent (27-of-58) from the field, along with 29.4 percent (5-of-17) from three-point range and 59.1 percent (13-of-22) at the free throw line. Senior guard Kwaminique Brandon leads the team in assists and steals, dishing out a team-high 6.9 assists per game and swiping 1.6 steals per contest.
As a team, SDCC is averaging 79.4 points per game, shooting 46.0 percent (200-of-435) from the field, including 33.0 percent (58-of-176) behind the three-point arc along with 64.5 percent (98-of-152) at the free throw line. The Hawks' opponents are averaging 79.3 ppg, shooting 44.4 percent (189-of-426) from the floor, 31.2 percent (53-of-170) from distance and 65.3 percent (124-of-190) at the free pitch stripe. SDCC has a -3.0 rebounding margin (35.4-38.4), while averaging 14.4 assists, 7.9 steals and 2.1 blocks per game, while committing 15.1 turnovers per contest.
Utah State and San Diego Christian will be meeting on the hardwood for the first time.
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The Aggies will open action in their inaugural season in the Mountain West on Wednesday, Jan. 1 at Air Force. The USU-Air Force game will be regionally televised on ROOT Sports. Utah State hosts San José State on Saturday, Jan. 4 in the Aggies' MW home-opener.
USU men's basketball single-game, multi-game and season tickets are on sale. All single-game tickets will go on sale two weeks prior to each game. Single-game tickets will cost $18 for non-priority and $20 for priority, as well as $25 for premium game against UNLV (Feb. 15).
To order a package or for more Aggie 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.