Seattle (5-6) at Utah State (11-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, January 3, 9:05 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Dee Glen Smith Spectrum (10,270) -- Logan, Utah. Television: KMYU. Home Record: Seattle 4-4, Utah State 7-1. Away Record: Seattle 1-2, Utah State 4-0. Neutral Record: Seattle 0-0, Utah State 1-0. Conference Record: Seattle 0-1, Utah State 2-0. Series Record: Utah State leads, 15-14.
GAMES NOTES: The streaking Utah State Aggies will play host to the Seattle Redhawks in a Western Athletic Conference contest at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum on Thursday night.
In its first conference game as a member of the WAC, Seattle was bested at home by Idaho, 71-64. The loss came on the heels of consecutive victories and dropped the Redhawks below .500 overall (5-6). The Redhawks are just 1-2 on the road where they remain next against San Jose State.
With an emphatic 81-57 triumph over Texas State in its conference opener Utah State has now won 10 straight games and improved to 11-1 overall. The Aggies have won by double digits in six of those games. The Aggies are 7-1 at Dee Glen Smith Spectrum where they will stay for the next two games against Idaho and San Jose State.
These teams met last season as non-conference foes and it was Seattle that came out on top, 73-66. That moved the Redhawks closer in the all-time series, which Utah State leads 15-14.
Seattle managed to earn a lead at halftime, 36-33, against Idaho but let it slip away in the second half. The Redhawks connected on just 36.0 percent of their shots in the final period and were outscored 15-8 from the free-throw line. D'Vonne Pickett scored 17 points to lead Seattle in the loss.
The Redhawks are one of the worst shooting teams in the WAC this year at a mere 40.8 percent, leading to just 68.3 points per game. The Redhawks have been successful on the glass bringing in the 14th most rebounds (42.2 pg) in the country. On the defensive side of things Seattle lets up 70.4 points per game on 41.7 percent shooting. Clarence Trent (11.1 ppg, 5.8 ppg) and Deshaun Sunderhaus (10.3 ppg, 7.5 rpg are the only players averaging in double figures but four others have averaged at least seven points per game.
Utah State really utilized points from beyond the arc in its win over Texas State. The Aggies nailed 11 3-pointers and scored 50 points in the second half en route to the easy victory. Preston Medlin knocked down five 3-pointers and scored a team-high 21 points.
While the Redhawks have struggled to shoot the ball this season, the Aggies have excelled in that regard. Utah State is the fourth best team on the country in terms of field goal percentage (.511), while handing out the 25th most assists per game (16.6 ). That has led to the WAC's second-best scoring average (72.1 ppg). On defense the Aggies are allowing just 62.6 points per game, while also managing a rebounding differential of more than 10. Medlin (15.1 ppg) leads the way as the top offensive option, while frontcourt performers Jarred Shaw (13.3 ppg, 8.4 rpg) and Kyisean Reed (11.7 ppg, 6.7 rpg) have also been playing at a high level.
The Aggies are on a roll right now, and the Redhawks lack the personnel to end Utah State's winning streak, especially in Logan.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Utah State 80, Seattle 65
01/03 10:45:27 ET