LOGAN, Utah – Utah State’s men’s basketball team continued its climb up the national polls this week and is now ranked 21st in the nation in the latest ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ poll released Monday and 22nd in the latest Associated Press poll. USU was ranked 25th in last week’s coaches’ poll and 30th in the AP poll. For Utah State, it is the second time in the last three years and the third time in the past eight seasons it has been ranked in both polls as it was most recently ranked during the 2008-09 season, climbing as high as 17th in the coaches’ poll and 21st in the AP poll. Along with improving on its national ranking, Utah State also extended its current winning streak to 15 straight games following an 89-84 double-overtime win at Hawai’i late Saturday night. That current 15-game winning streak ranks as the third-longest active winning streak in the nation behind Ohio State (22) and Coastal Carolina (18), and is the fifth-longest winning streak in school history. Utah State is also the only team in the nation to have at least a 10-game winning streak in each of the last four year as it won 10 straight in 2008, a school-record tying 19 straight in 2009, and 17 in a row in 2010 to go along with its current 15-game winning streak. Utah State, who is 20-2 on the season, is one of just nine teams in the nation with at least 20 wins, and those 20 wins are tied for the third-most in the country behind Ohio State (22) and San Diego State (21). Furthermore, USU is tied with Coastal Carolina, BYU and Pittsburgh for the fourth-best winning percentage in the nation at 90.9 percent trailing Ohio State (1.000), San Diego State (.955) and Kansas (.952). Utah State’s 20-2 start to the 2010-11 season is the third-best in school history trailing the 2003-04 and 2008-09 teams that started the year with identical 25-2 records. Overall, USU has won 35 of its last 37 regular season games dating back to last season with its only losses coming on the road to then No. 23 Brigham Young (78-72) and then No. 14 Georgetown (68-51) this year. The Aggies have also won 23 straight Western Athletic Conference games dating back to last season, extending its own record. Those 23 straight league wins are tied with the 2000 and 2001 USU teams of the Big West Conference for the longest league winning streak in school history. With its win at Hawai’i Saturday night, Utah State has now won at least 20 games in each of the last 12 seasons, extending its own school record. USU entered the 2010-11 season as one of just three teams nationally with 11 straight 23-win seasons joining Kansas and Gonzaga. During the last 11 seasons, USU has averaged 25.4 wins and its 77.2 winning percentage since 2000 is the fourth-best in the nation. Utah State also continues to be one of the best defensive teams in the country as it currently ranks sixth in the nation in rebounding margin (+8.7), 11th in scoring defense (59.2), and 15th in field goal percentage defense (.390) Utah State returns to action on Wednesday, Feb. 2 when it hosts Nevada (8-13, 5-3) in a game that will be televised nationally on ESPN2 at 9 p.m. (MT). USU owns the third-longest home winning streak in the nation with 26 straight wins in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum trailing only Duke (31) and Kentucky (29). The Aggies have also won 28 straight WAC games at home over the last four years. -USU-
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