Utah State vs. Nevada: Game Preview, Odds, How To Watch

Utah State vs. Nevada: Game Preview, Odds, How To Watch

Mountain West Basketball

Utah State vs. Nevada: Game Preview, Odds, How To Watch

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Utah State tries adding another win


Lyle was seen in a boot during the New Mexico Football Game on Saturday


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Can the Wolf Pack pull the upset?

Utah State sits just outside the NCAA Tournament bubble with one month until Selection Sunday. The Aggies can’t afford any more bad losses or many more losses in general; losing to 9-13 Nevada would constitute a bad loss.

USU dropped an overtime game in Laramie, where Graham Ike drilled two foul shots sending the game to overtime, and Wyoming emerged victoriously. Brandon Horvath‘s heater continued, scoring 20 points adding six boards while tossing six dimes in the gut-wrenching loss. 

The Wolf Pack picked third in the conference preseason poll, finds themselves losing six straight games, and has a 9-13 record. Nobody saw Nevada struggling like this, but there’s time to figure things out before the Mountain West tournament next month. 

Nevada lost the previous matchup in ugly fashion, 78-49, in a rough home loss, only shooting 2-15 from deep, while the Aggies made 60 percent of their two-point attempts. They’ll have to construct a different formula to break the losing skid; knock off the surging USU Aggies. 

Nevada guard Grant Sherfield returned following a two-game absence, scoring 11 points seven assists against Colorado State on Tuesday. The Wolf Pack need more in the scoring column from their gifted guard to pull off the surprising upset in Logan, and he’s more than capable of exploding for 25+ on any given night. Desmond Cambridge Jr scored 36 on 7-9, shooting from deep in the loss to Colorado State, marking his career-high in scoring. Nevada can keep the contest close if those two play to their capabilities, but that’s a big if. 

The duo of Justin Bean and Horvath speaks for itself; the two score a combined 31 points and 16.6 rebounds per game — both can hit threes, they rebound and impact the win column in a variety of different ways. It’ll be a trying task for Nevada’s frontcourt, especially if Warren Washington doesn’t suit up once again. I still have reservations concerning the Aggies’ guard play, but Rylan Jones and Steven Ashworth have shown reliability despite not being top-three scorers on the roster. 

Key Players:

Nevada: Kenan Blackshear

Blackshear is Nevada’s top defender, thanks to his multi-positional ability on that end. That’ll come up big here, as he could face the task of defending one of the Aggies star forwards. He’s a solid offensive player but could keep the Wolf Pack within distance of USU with his elite defensive prowess.

Utah State: Steven Ashworth

The sophomore guard provides the Aggies with their best perimeter bucket getter, shooting just shy of 40 percent from beyond the arc. His shot-making ability can help alleviate the pressure from Horvath and Bean. 

Prediction:

Utah State 81

Nevada 64

The Wolf Pack dropped five of their six straight losses by double-digits. It’ll be tough keeping the game close with the two teams making extreme pivots to opposite sides of the league standings. Utah State is rising and bolsters an NCAA Tournament resume, while Nevada tries getting the train back on track.


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