LOGAN – After suffering its third straight loss on the road, Utah State will play another road game, this one a rematch of a game where the Aggies won. On Dec. 31, USU downed Fresno State 67-54 in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. But this match will take place on the Bulldogs’ home court where they’re 3-1 in conference play so far.
How to watch
- Tip-off: 5 p.m. MT
- Location: Save Mart Center | Fresno, CA
- TV Broadcast: Mountain West Network
- Aggie GameDay Coverage on KVNU (102.1 FM/610 AM & KVNU mobile app): 4 p.m. MT
- KVNU Aggie Call (102.1 FM/610 AM, KVNU mobile app): Immediately after game ends
G – Rylan Jones (Undisclosed) – OUT
Jones has missed the last five games with an undisclosed upper-body injury. No timetable has been provided for a return.
G – Joseph Hunter (Thumb) – OUT
F – Isaih Moore (Concussion) – QUESTIONABLE
Moore has missed the Bulldogs’ last three games with a concussion.
Utah State (16-5, 5-3)
- G – Steven Ashworth (6-1, Jr.) – 15.3 points | 3.2 rebounds | 4.6 assists
- G – Max Shulga (6-4, Jr.) – 11.8 points | 4.7 rebounds | 4.3 assists
- G/F – Sean Bairstow (6-8, Sr.) – 10.8 points | 4.3 rebounds | 2.4 assists
- F – Taylor Funk (6-9, Gr.) – 14.6 points | 5.6 rebounds | 2.0 assists
- C – Trevin Dorius (7-0, Sr.) – 5.4 points | 3.5 rebounds | 0.2 assists
- 6th Man – Dan Akin (6-9, Gr.) – 12.0 points | 7.5 rebounds | 0.6 assists
Fresno State (7-12, 3-5)
- G – Isaiah Hill (6-0, Sr.) – 10.4 points | 2.3 rebounds | 3.6 assists
- G – Jemarl Baker (6-5, Sr.) – 10.9 points | 2.5 rebounds | 2.4 assists
- G – Anthony Holland (6-5, Sr.) – 6.9 points | 3.9 rebounds | 0.8 assists
- F – Leo Colimerio (6-7, Jr.) – 4.8 points | 3.0 rebounds | 0.6 assists
- C – Eduardo Andre (6-11, So.) – 7.1 points | 5.5 rebounds | 0.5 assists
Team Statistical Ranks
Stats and ratings are from Basketball Reference (except the NET ranking). All ranks are out of 363 Division I teams.
- Pace – 70.3 (104th)
- Offensive Rating – 114.1 (12th)
- Defensive Rating – 102.0 (231st)
- Field Goal % – 48.7 (17th)
- 3-point % – 42.1 (1st)
- Rebounding % – 53.0 (70th)
- NET Rank – 36th
- Pace – 63.7 (351st)
- Offensive Rating – 95.6 (336th)
- Defensive Rating – 98.8 (141st)
- Field Goal % – 42.4 ()
- 3-point % – 28.4 ()
- Rebounding % – 48.8 (275th)
- NET Rank – 178th
Utah State has done very well after losses this season, coming in at 4-0 after the previous losses. However, none of those next-up games was a true road game (two of the rebound losses were on neutral site locations, though). Bouncing back from the 85-75 loss at San Diego State is going to be a tad tougher as the Bulldogs won’t be an easy opponent.
Fresno State’s slow-it-down style allowed the Bulldogs to stay within striking distance. It also didn’t help that the Aggies shot a below-average 43.5 percent in that game and gave away 16 turnovers. With those two factors in play, Fresno State was able to take the lead in the second half, 46-44, before a 12-0 run by Utah State allowed the Aggies to cruise down the stretch and win by double digits.
A key factor in this game will actually be something decided even before tip-off. The Bulldogs’ leading scorer Isaih Moore (12.1 points per game) has missed the last several games due to a reported concussion. Fresno State went 1-2 in the three games without Moore, losing to Air Force and Boise State and defeating UNLV. In the previous USU-FSU game, Moore wasn’t as much of a factory on the stat sheet, scoring just nine points and grabbing seven rebounds.
A player that did do well against the Aggies last time out was Jemarl Baker. The former Kentucky and Arizona guard had double his season scoring average with 20 points. Forward Leo Colimerio also provided some headache to USU by scoring 10 points which included going 5-of-5 on free throws.
For the Aggies, a major key will be getting out in transition to open up the offense. It’s something head coach Ryan Odom talked about in his post-game comments on Dec. 31. He noted that the stretch late where USU got going happened in part because the offense started to get out and run and put up points relatively quickly.
“We play in transition. For us in transition our guys are pretty good,” Odom said after that game. “(Our guys) can get behind you. The court’s more open and we’re able to attack the gaps better. We put pressure on the defense quicker that way.”
Against a team like Fresno State that takes every opportunity to slow the game down, the ability to get quick and easy buckets to pull ahead will be a thing to watch for.