USU goes for season sweep of Fresno State

Utah State forward Justin Bean (34) drives to to the basket during the first half of the team's NCAA college basketball game against San Diego State on Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

Utah State (20-7, 9-5) at Fresno State (9-16, 5-9)

Save Mart Center, Fresno, California; Saturday, 10 p.m. EST

BOTTOM LINE: Utah State goes for the season sweep over Fresno State after winning the previous matchup in Logan. The teams last met on Dec. 7, when Fresno State made only 13 free throws on 15 attempts while the Aggies went 31 for 34 en route to the seven-point victory.

VETERAN PRESENCE: Veteran leadership could play a big role in this game’s outcome. For Utah State, Sam Merrill, Justin Bean and Diogo Brito have scored 49 percent of the team’s points this season, including 67 percent of all Aggies points over their last five.

OFFENSIVE THREAT: Merrill has either made or assisted on 46 percent of all Utah State field goals over the last five games. The senior guard has 30 field goals and 27 assists in those games.

PERFECT WHEN: Utah State is a perfect 17-0 when its defense holds opponents to a field goal percentage of 42.9 percent or less. The Aggies are 3-7 when allowing opponents to shoot any better than that.

ACCOUNTING FOR ASSISTS: The Aggies have recently used assists to create baskets more often than the Bulldogs. Fresno State has an assist on 38 of 80 field goals (47.5 percent) across its past three outings while Utah State has assists on 47 of 74 field goals (63.5 percent) during its past three games.

DID YOU KNOW: Fresno State has made nine 3-pointers per game as a collective unit this year, which is second-best among MWC teams.

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