San Jose State (9-6) at Utah State (13-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, January 11, 9:05 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Dee Glen Smith Spectrum (10,270) -- Logan, Utah. Television: Local. Home Record: SJSU 5-3, USU 9-1. Away Record: SJSU 4-2, USU 4-0. Neutral Record: SJSU 0-1, USU 0-0. Conference Record: SJSU 3-1, USU 4-0. Series Record: Utah State leads, 49-21.
GAME NOTES: The Utah State Aggies will put a couple of winning streaks on the line on Friday night, as they entertain the San Jose State Spartans in Western Athletic Conference play.
Owners of one of the longest winning streaks in the country at the moment, USU has ripped off 12 straight since suffering a 67-58 loss to Saint Mary's-CA back on Nov. 15. That defeat remains the lone blemish on an otherwise impressive run for the Aggies who are currently 4-0 in conference, and have won 21 straight home meetings in the series with San Jose State as well.
However, last weekend the Aggies were put to the test by Idaho, taken to overtime by the Vandals, before escaping with an 82-75 victory.
Meanwhile, the Spartans haven't done too badly for themselves in early conference play either, winning three of their first four WAC encounters. The squad took a break from league action on Tuesday to clash with New Orleans and came away with a 71-64 triumph at home. The victory was the second in a row and the fourth in five games for SJSU.
The Aggies lead the all-time series with San Jose State by a count of 49-21, capturing all but four of the 33 meetings played in Logan over the years. A 71-61 win in early March of last season gave Utah State its 10th straight win over the Spartans.
Four starters scored in double figures for the Spartans in their recent win over New Orleans, with Louis Garrett leading the way with 14 points. Alex Brown and D.J. Brown both tallied 13 points, the former clearing eight rebounds and the latter handing out six assists, while Chris Cunningham came up a rebound shy of another double-double as he tallied 11 points. James Kinney shot only 3-of-18 from the field and missed all seven of his 3-point tries as he produced nine points, adding six assists, four boards and three steals. You would never be able to tell it from his effort against UNO, but Kinney is not only the leading scorer for the Spartans with 20.6 ppg, but he is also one of the top scorers in the country. Cunningham (10.7 ppg) is a double-double waiting to happen with his team-best 9.1 rpg, but having fouled out of five contests means he is limiting his potential on a regular basis.
Even though the Aggies shot just 6-of-12 at the free-throw line in overtime against Idaho, the team still made it through to the win column for the 12th straight time last Saturday. Every starter scored in double figures for USU, led by Preston Medlin who tallied a game-high 22 points, adding seven rebounds as well. Kyisean Reed responded with 17 points and three blocked shots, Marcel Davis 14 points and Jarred Shaw a double-double consisting of 12 points and just as many rebounds before fouling out. Spencer Butterfield missed all four of his 3-point tries yet still dropped in 11 points to go with five assists. Over the course of four conference games, Medlin leads the charge with 21.3 ppg, shooting 41.9 percent beyond the arc, as the team outscores the competition by 11 ppg. Reed (13.0 ppg), Butterfield (12.5 ppg) and Shaw (11.5 ppg) all combine for 19 rpg as well.
If Kinney is able to bounce back from his awful effort the last time out then maybe the Spartans have a shot at the win, but being on the road in a building where USU has dominated for several years also has to be taken into account.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Utah State 75, San Jose State 67
01/11 10:34:55 ET