College Basketball

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Western Illinois (4-5) at Utah State (6-2)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Thursday, December 19, 10:05 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Dee Glen Smith Spectrum (10,270) -- Logan, Utah. Television: None. Home Record: WIU 4-0, USU 4-1. Away Record: WIU 0-5, USU 2-0. Neutral Record: WIU 0-0, USU 0-1. Conference Record: WIU 0-0, USU 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.

GAME NOTES: The first-ever meeting between the Western Illinois Leathernecks and the Utah State Aggies takes place tonight in Logan, as the teams compete as part of the Basketball Travelers Classic at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.

The Leathernecks are currently one game under .500 due to the fact that they are winless in all five road tests in 2013-14. The team had been enjoying a three-game win streak recently, beating the likes of Greenville, Eastern Illinois and Grace Bible, but suffered a 59-52 setback at Alabama State on Monday night.

As for the Aggies, a team which is 67-10 in the last 77 home dates, they are 4-1 in their own building this season. The latest victory arrived over the weekend in the form of a 71-60 triumph over Utah Valley. The win snapped what had become a two-game slide, after the program opened the campaign with five consecutive victories.

Both teams will be back in action each of the next two days, both going up against UC Santa Barbara and Troy in order to complete the tournament.

Against Alabama A&M the Leathernecks shot just 37.0 percent from the field in the first half and 39.3 percent for the game, but that's not what did in the visitors. Instead, the big difference between the squads took place at the free-throw line where WIU was outscored by a 17-3 margin. Adam Link scored a game-high 16 points on 8-of-14 from the floor, adding nine rebounds, while Jordan Foster chipped in 11 points as he converted 3-of-4 beyond the arc and a perfect 2-of-2 at the charity stripe.

Link, the leading scorer for the Leathernecks over the last four outings, is currently second on the team with his 11.3 ppg, although his overall point total of 102 is tops on the unit. Just ahead of him in terms of scoring average is Garret Covington with 12.0 ppg, although Covington is shooting just 38.1 percent from the floor and 29.5 percent beyond the arc. Then again, Western Illinois is far from a threatening team out on the perimeter with a collective 29.3 percent while averaging less than five conversions per game.

The Aggies had little trouble asserting themselves against Utah Valley over the weekend, shooting an impressive 58.6 percent from the field in the first half, including 6-of-12 behind the 3-point line in order to build a 46-23 lead at the break. The second half was a bit more of a challenge for USU as it shot only 38.5 percent from the floor, but by then the game was well in hand. Preston Medlin and Jarred Shaw both tallied 18 points, the latter matching Kyle Davis (12 points) for the rebounding lead with seven.

Unfortunately for the Aggies, they enter this tournament without the services of Shaw who has been suspended indefinitely for a violation of team rules, according to head coach Stew Morrill. Shaw currently leads the Aggies in scoring, rebounding and blocked shots with averages of 16.1 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per contest, respectively. At this point there is no timetable for his return, which means Medlin (14.0 ppg), Spencer Butterfield (13.1 ppg) and the rest of the unit will have to pick up the slack until further notice.

Fortunately for the Aggies, at least in the case of Western Illinois, they still have a superior roster even without Shaw. As long as the rest of the team doesn't try too hard to make up for the loss everything should be good to go in Logan tonight.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Utah State 74, Western Illinois 62

12/19 11:18:27 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CHR 2
DUR 9
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
CHI
 
7:05pm Tonight
DUR
NOR
 
7:05pm Tuesday
PHI 0
ATL 0
7:05pm Tuesday
NYY 0
CHC 0
7:05pm Tuesday
BAL 0
TAM 0
7:08pm Tuesday
DET 0
CLE 0
Final
CIN 7
PIT 5
Final
MIA 11
WAS 2
Final
TEX 5
SEA 0
Final
CWS 2
BOS 1
Final
HOU 2
KAN 4
Final
MIL 1
STL 6
Final
MIN 3
TOR 9
Final
ARI 0
NYM 9
8th
ANA 6
OAK 9
 
7th
SDP 2
COL 3
 
7th
SFG 1
LOS 1
 
12:35pm Today
CIN
PIT
12:35pm Today
BAL
TAM
 
1:05pm Today
NYY
CHC
 
1:10pm Today
MIL
STL
 
3:40pm Today
ARI
NYM
 
7:05pm Tonight
PHI
ATL
 
7:05pm Tonight
NYY
CHC
 
7:08pm Tonight
DET
CLE
 
7:10pm Tonight
MIA
WAS
 
8:05pm Tonight
TEX
SEA
 
8:10pm Tonight
CWS
BOS
 
8:10pm Tonight
HOU
KAN
 
8:10pm Tonight
MIN
TOR
 
10:05pm Tonight
ANA
OAK
 
10:10pm Tonight
SDP
COL
 
10:15pm Tonight
SFG
LOS
 
Final
BRK 98
NYK 109
4th
LAC 89
DEN 80
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
CHI
 
7:00pm Tonight
ORL
IND
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIL
ATL
 
8:00pm Tonight
CLE
BRK
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
DAL
 
8:00pm Tonight
OKC
DET
 
8:00pm Tonight
NOP
HOU
 
8:00pm Tonight
SAN
LAL
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIA
PHI
 
8:00pm Tonight
NYK
TOR
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
UTA
 
8:00pm Tonight
BOS
WAS
 
10:30pm Tonight
DEN
GSW
 
10:30pm Tonight
POR
LAC
 
10:30pm Tonight
SAC
PHO
 
7:00pm Tonight
TAM
MON
7:30pm Tonight
PIT
CLB
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
DAL
Final
CHR 2
DUR 9
 
7:05pm Tonight
DUR
NOR