GAME NOTES: Utah State tries to build on a couple of home wins tonight, as the Aggies pay a visit to the Colorado State Rams for a Mountain West Conference battle at Moby Arena.
Dealing with a five-game slide, the Aggies appeared to be quickly heading off the tracks, but the team is still relevant thanks to victories over Nevada and, on Saturday, Boise State by a score of 76-70. USU is still three games under .500 in conference, but thankfully the squad's success during the non- conference slate has helped to buoy them.
Meanwhile, the Rams are enjoying their first two-game win streak in a month, thanks to a 75-57 thumping of UNLV last week, and then a 68-56 triumph over Air Force on the road this past Saturday. Sporting a 5-6 conference mark, Colorado State comes into the week tied with Boise State for sixth place in the league standings.
Utah State won the first meeting of the season in Logan last month, posting a 57-50 decision thanks to Jarred Shaw who registered a double-double consisting of 17 points and 10 rebounds. With the victory, the Aggies moved to 46-35 in the all-time series.
Against a visiting Boise State team that took San Diego State down to the wire in its previous outing, the Aggies knew they'd be in for a fight. Jarred Shaw registered a double-double with 17 points and a game-high 10 rebounds for the hosts, while Preston Medlin tallied a team-best 19 points on a perfect 3-of-3 shooting behind the 3-point line. Kyle Davis filled his stat line with 15 points, eight boards and five assists, followed by Spencer Butterfield with 13 points and four dishes.
Based on average, Shaw is the top scorer for the Aggies with his 14.8 ppg, accounting for 7.9 rpg as well, which matches Davis (9.8 ppg) for the team high at the moment. Butterfield and Medlin check in with 13.5 and 13.3 ppg, respectively, the latter also handing out 4.3 apg to pace the program and help drive them to 71.8 ppg, which is 5.0 ppg better than the competition.
Colorado State registered just eight field goals in the first half against Air Force at Clune Arena on Saturday, but after trailing by as many as 10 points in the first half and three at the break, the Rams turned the corner and used 19-of-24 shooting at the free-throw line over the final 20 minutes to capture the win. J.J. Avila posted a double-double with 20 points and 13 rebounds, followed by Jon Octeus and Joe De Ciman with 18 and 15 points, respectively.
Although he shot just 1-of-9 from the floor, including 1-of-7 beyond the arc, and finished with only five points in the win against Air Force, Daniel Bejarano is second on the unit with 15.6 ppg, trailing only Avila with his 17.4 ppg. The problem with Bejarano, someone who can fill up his stat line when his head is on straight, is that he is shooting just 36.2 percent from the floor, while Avila, who is also first on the team in rebounding (7.9 rpg) and assists (79), has knocked down 47.0 percent of his shots.
Of Colorado State's 14 wins this season, all but two have come at home, which means the crowd is becoming more and more vital to the success of the Rams. The Aggies are used to that similar boost from their hometown fans, but it will be tough for USU to shut the CSU faithful out tonight.
Game Date and Time