USU faces UNLV in regular-season finale, looking for 3rd straight win

Save Story

Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

LOGAN — It isn't too often that a collegiate men's basketball team gets to finish its regular season in the same city that it will play its conference tournament.

For the Utah State men's basketball team, that is a reality. The Aggies travel to Las Vegas to take on the UNLV Runnin' Rebels in the season finale for both teams Wednesday night.

The Thomas & Mack Center will host the Mountain West Conference Tournament beginning Wednesday, March 8.

The Aggies are coming off an impressive 89-58 win over Air Force Saturday night to close out the home slate.

Senior Jalen Moore had a game-high 24 points in his final game in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, and the Aggies shot nearly 60 percent from the field in the dominant win.

Coming off a big win, USU head coach Tim Duryea has been a little concerned with the Aggies having a letdown against UNLV, considering the Runnin' Rebels are just 3-13 in Mountain West Conference play and have lost nine straight games.

"That has really been my worry since we got back to work this week — the mental state of our guys relaxing a little bit and making the mistake of looking at the standings," he said. "We know ourselves, that anybody can beat anybody on either court on any given night in this league.

"It is their last home game, and it is their Senior Night, and you expect a very spirited effort from them. Hopefully, our guys will get themselves ready, similar to what we did at San Jose, and that is what I hope we draw on."

In regard to the standings, USU currently sits in ninth place. However, the Aggies are tied with Wyoming at 7-10 and a half-game behind San Jose State, which sits at 7-9.

USU owns the tiebreaker over Wyoming and San Jose State, so the Aggies have the potential to move up into the seven seed.

First things first. USU has to take care of UNLV. The Aggies beat the Rebels 79-63 in Logan Jan. 7 in a game that saw freshman guard Koby McEwen score 24 of his career-high 28 points in the second half.

According to Duryea, when his two freshmen guards, McEwen and Sam Merrill, play well, the Aggies play well, and they will need that come tipoff Wednesday night.

"It is no secret when Jalen, Koby and Sam play well that we play pretty well," Duryea said. "That has been a constant throughout the later part of the season.

"We have a lot to play for in terms of our record on the year, in terms of seeding in the tournament. … With all we are playing for, we are trying to get ourselves prepared and play as well as we can and ride the momentum that we have created over the last week to 10 days through the tournament."

The game can be seen on ESPNU and tipoff is scheduled for 9 p.m. MST.

Kyle McDonald is sports fan who loves the Chicago Cubs. He is a communication major at UVU and will graduate in the spring of 2017. Follow him on Twitter at @kylesportsbias

Most recent Sports stories

Related topics

SportsUtah State Aggies


From first downs to buzzer beaters, get’s top sports stories delivered to your inbox weekly.
By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

KSL Weather Forecast