Utah State (10-1) at Texas State (4-9)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Monday, December 31, 5 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Strahan Coliseum (7,200) -- San Marcos, Texas. Television: None. Home Record: Utah State 6-1, Texas State 3-4. Away Record: Utah State 3-0, Texas State 0-3. Neutral Record: Utah State 1-0, Texas State 1-2. Conference Record: Utah State 1-0, Texas State 0-1. Series Record: First meeting.
GAMES NOTES: The streaking Utah State Aggies will face off with the Texas State Bobcats in a Western Athletic Conference showdown at the Strahan Coliseum.
Utah State is coming off a 71-67 road victory over Texas-San Antonio in its WAC opener on Saturday. The win was the 10th straight victory for the Aggies who come into this game boasting an impressive 11-1 overall record. Though most of the schedule has been at home, the Aggies have not lost in three trips on the road. Up next for Utah State is a three-game homestand beginning against Seattle.
Texas State was not so fortunate in its league opener as the Bobcats were downed, 72-55, by San Jose State in a game also played at the Strahan Coliseum. The loss was the fourth in a row for the Bobcats and pushed their overall record to 4-9. Texas State is 3-4 at home this year but will be on the road in its next two games against Denver and New Mexico State.
This is Texas State's first season as a member of the WAC and this will be the first time these two teams will meet on the hardwood.
Preston Medlin had himself quite a game against UTSA, as he dropped in 24 points in the team's most recent win. The Aggies shot at an impressive 62.2 percent clip as a team and outscored the Miners by a 13-4 margin on points off of turnovers.
The Aggies have been playing at a very high level on the offensive end of the floor, shooting 51.1 percent from the field, which is the fifth-best mark in the country. The Aggies are also among the top three teams in the WAC in points (71.3 ppg) and assists (16.2 pg). Another area where the Aggies have had success is on the boards where they have a margin of +10.4 this year. Utah State allows 63.1 points per game on 40.8 percent shooting on defense. Medlin (14.5 ppg, 3.5 apg) is the top offensive option and is also the lead facilitator. Jarred Shaw (13.0 ppg, 8.8 rpg) and Kyisean Reed (12.2 ppg, 6.7 rpg) have been stellar in the paint with each shooting better than 55 percent from the field, while proving to be effective rebounders.
The Bobcats didn't present enough defensive pressure against San Jose State on Saturday as they allowed the Spartans to hit on 51.8 percent of their shots from the field. Meanwhile Texas State shot just 32.3 percent and was victim of a 41-31 disadvantage on the boards.
Joel Wright managed to turn in a strong performance in that losing effort as he poured in 22 points. The 6-foot-7 forward is the team's leading scorer (15.9 ppg) and rebounder (6.6 pg). Matt Staff (15.2 ppg, 6.0 rpg) has also been scoring in bunches but no other player on the roster is scoring in double figures this year. In the backcourt, Vonn Jones (7.3 ppg, 3.8 apg) runs the point, while Wesley Davis (7.9 ppg) has the ability to score, but has shot at just a 38.5 percent rate. Even though there aren't a multitude of scorers for the Bobcats they have still managed to rank second in the WAC in scoring (72.3 ppg). However the Bobcats have been weak on defense allowing 74.7 points per game on 45.0 percent shooting.
The Aggies come into this game with plenty of momentum while playing some of the best basketball in the country. That's bad news for Texas State which will struggle to hold down Utah State in this one.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Utah State 76, Texas State 63
12/31 10:32:14 ET