UNLV vs. Utah St: Preview, Who To Watch, Prediction

UNLV vs. Utah St: Preview, Who To Watch, Prediction

Mountain West Basketball

UNLV vs. Utah St: Preview, Who To Watch, Prediction

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UNLV vs. Utah State: Preview, Who To Watch, Prediction


Two teams on winning streaks face off.


Contact/Follow @aztecbreakdown

WHO: UNLV Runnin’ Rebels (13-9) Vs  Utah St. Aggies (14-9)

When: Saturday, February 5th 6:00 PM ET/ 3:00 PM PT

Where: Logan, Utah

TV: CBS Sports Network

STREAM: FuboTV — Get a free trial

Both Utah St. and UNLV have won multiple games in a row. Utah St. started their run with a win over San Diego St. at home, and has since been beating up on the bottom teams in the conference. Nevertheless, they have looked much better than they did a few weeks ago.

UNLV managed to pull off an upset against Colorado St. on the road, and then followed it up by beating Nevada. They have looked much improved over the last couple of games.

Someone has to lose though, and given where the teams are in the conference standings, this one could be important come time for the conference tournament.

UNLV is led by Bryce Hamilton. He has been om a tear lately, scoring at least 30 points three times in his last five games. When his shots are falling there are few better scorers in the nation. Agaisnt Colorado St. he scored 45 points, and added seven rebounds and five assists as well. If he continues this run UNLV will be a hard out the rest of the season.

Utah St. is led by Juston Bean. Bean has stepped up to fill the void left by players like Sam Merrill and Neemias Queta. He would likely be the Player of the Year favorite if Utah St. had more wins on it’s resume. He is averaging 18 points per game and shooting a scorching 49% from behind the arc. Shooting was his one weakness in years past, and he obviously put the time in the gym to address it. He also averages 9.9 rebounds, just shy of averaging a double-double.

One thing to note is that Utah St. will be playing their third game in five days. Teams have often looked worse than their usual when playing so often. UNLV will be well rested. That rest may tip the scales ever so slightly.

The Aggies are 9 point favorites in this game.

Keys for UNLV- As is usually the case, Bryce Hamilton will need to have a good game for the Rebels to have a chance. He will need some help though. DOnovan Williams is a good running mate to Hamilton, as he is able to stretch the defense and score on his own.

The Rebels also need to outwork the Aggies early. Playing three games in five days is hard. Running in transition and playing crisp defense should help give the rebels an edge.

Keys for Utah State – The Aggies are the better team on paper, but wins need to be earned on the floor. Teams have had success taking away Hamilton’s teammates in the past, making it so Hamilton needs to score 50 for the Rebels to have a chance. Utah St. has the personel to do that.

Getting Steven Ashworth going will also be helpful. He has been playing well during this winning streak. If he continues to play well Utah St. will be a team no one wants to face in March.

Predictions – The Aggies come out on top at home. Bryce Hamilton is a great player but he does not have a lot of help on this UNLV team. Bean and company will be too much to overcome.

Prediction – 72-67 Aggies

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