Utah State vs Fresno State Series Preview
WHO: Utah State Aggies (13-5 10-2 in the MW) Fresno State Bulldogs (7-6, 5-6 in the MW)
WHEN: Game 1: Thursday, February 4th, 6:00PM PT/ 7:00 MT
Game 2 : Saturday, February 6th 7:00PM/ 8:00MT
WHERE: Save Mart Center – Fresno, CA
TV: Game 1: Stadium
Game 2: FS1
STREAM: Game 1: Mountain West Network
SERIES RECORD: Utah State leads all-time series 39-25
The Fresno State Bulldogs are coming off a much-needed series win over the New Mexico Lobos. In Game 1, the Dogs struggled in the first half scoring just 19 points and played without one of their leading scorers Deon Stroud. In the second half, the Bulldogs looked like a different basketball team, scoring 34 points and got a huge boost from Deon Stroud who finished with 14 points and had a couple of electric dunks.
Fresno State did escape with a 64-62 overtime win thanks to Junior Ballard who just took over in overtime and finished with 18 points. In Game 2 the story was a bit the same as Junior Ballard led the Dogs with 16 Points and Deon Stroud finished with 13 points and 7 rebounds leading the Bulldogs to a 65-55 victory.
.@stroud_deon didn't leave a CRUMB with this one…..
— Fresno State Men’s Basketball (@FresnoStateMBB) January 29, 2021
Fresno State is now on a two-game winning streak and looks to extend that winning streak this week against a very good Utah State Aggie Squad.
Keys to the Game:
The Aggies are 13-5 this season and are currently second in the Mountain West standing, just half a game back from Boise State of first place in the conference. Junior Forward Neemias Queta is a force to be reckoned averaging nearly a double-double with 12.4ppg and 9.3 rebounds per game.
For the Aggies, this series may look like a cakewalk but they are playing a very tuff and underestimated Bulldog team. If the Aggies want to win this series the key will be turning defense into offense. The Fresno State Bulldogs are not a great offensively team just averaging 68.7 points per game that is 216th in division 1 basketball.
For Fresno State, this is a huge series for the Dogs. Fresno State is a game and a half back of the 5th seed in the mountain west but a series win or split could give Coach Justin Hutson squad a lot of confidence and momentum. One of the keys for the Dogs will be – can their best player Orlando Robinson get going. Robinson has had a great year so far averaging 15.5ppg and nearly 10 rebounds per game but in the last two games, he has scored a combined 10 points.
All eyes will be on Neemias Queta vs Orlando Robinson as two of the best big men in the Mountain West square off for the first time this season. If the Bulldogs are going to pull an upset this week, taking care of the ball and getting some offense of production other than Orlando Robinson and Deon Stroud. Fresno State has not had consistent production on the offensive side of the ball. That will be big against a really good defense like the Utah State Aggies.
Tune into the Save Mart this Thursday and Saturday as two of the best big men in the conference go at it. Both teams are looking to make a move up in the Mountain West standing. Will it be the Utah State Aggies who have looked dominant all season long or will the Fresno State Bulldogs pull the upset at home.