San Diego State vs. Utah State: Three Keys For An Aztecs Win

San Diego State vs. Utah State: Three Keys For An Aztecs Win

Mountain West Basketball

San Diego State vs. Utah State: Three Keys For An Aztecs Win

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San Diego State vs. Utah State: Game Preview, TV & Radio Schedule, Livestream, Odds, More 


San Diego State looks to keep their five-game winning streak alive 


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 Can the Aztecs make a run at the two-seed?

San Diego State has been on a roll lately, climbing all the way up to third in the Mountain West standings. With four games left, the Aztecs have a difficult road to maintain a top three seed.

The first big test is a matchup in Logan, Utah, against the Utah State Aggies. Both teams faced off in Viejas Arena back on February 9th with the Aztecs taking a hard-fought 68-63 victory. To recreate the magic from the last victory San Diego State will need to focus on these three things.

Rebound

It is as simple as this, when the Aztecs outbound their opponent this season they are 13-1, when they do not they are 5-8. Last time against the Aggies, which are fifth in the nation in rebounding margin in America, the Aztecs beat them on the glass 38-35.

That was a shocker, as was the score. For San Diego State to pull off another win, they will need to stay competitive on the boards.

Stop Sam Merrill

Last time these two teams met the Aztecs did a pretty good job of keeping the Aggie offense in check, minus Sam Merrill. Merrill went off for 35 points on 50% shooting from the field, including 6-12 from beyond the arc.

The Aztecs threw an array of defenders and looks at Merrill, but it did not matter, he was unstoppable that day. With senior guard Jeremy Hemsley suffering an injury in the win over UNLV, it will be interesting to see if he can go and be effective.

San Diego State’s defense has been better, however, on that night Merrill kept Utah State in the game. He will need to be a point of emphasis for the Aztecs, especially if Hemsley cannot go or he is not 100 percent.

Dominate the Paint

In the last game, San Diego State outscored the Aggies 22-16 in the paint. While that may not seem like a large margin, it was more impressive because the Aggies sport impressive freshman Neemias Queta.

Queta has been a revelation for Utah State and he came in well-hyped for the last game. However, not to be outdone, the Aztecs were ready and San Diego State’s own freshman big man, Nathan Mensah, came out and recorded a double-double. He outplayed Queta and was a presence in the middle. A repeat performance by Mensah and the rest of the Aztecs will be necessary in order to give themselves a chance.

WHO: San Diego State Aztecs (18-9, 10-4 Mountain West) vs. Utah State Aggies (22-6, 12-3 Mountain West)

WHEN: Tuesday, February 26 — 7:30 AM MT/6:30 PM PT

WHERE: Dee Glenn Smith Spectrum; Logan, Utah (10,270)

TV: CBS Sports Network

STREAM: FuboTV: Get a one-week trial.

RADIO:  San Diego State  |  Utah State

SERIES RECORD: San Diego State 11-3

WEBSITES: GoAztecs.com, the official San Diego State athletics website | UtahStateAggies.com, the official Utah State athletics website

ODDS: Utah State -8.5

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