Sophomore forward Shaun Green has recorded double-doubles in Utah's last two games.
Feb. 26, 2007
UTAH RUNNIN' UTES VS. SAN DIEGO STATE AZTECS
Tuesday, February 27, 2007 7:05 p.m. (MST)
Jon M. Huntsman Center (15,000) Salt Lake City Buy Tickets Here
UTAH (10-17, 5-9) Head Coach: Ray Giacoletti Alma Mater: Minot State, 1985 At Utah: 54-37 (3rd Season) Career: 171-120 (10th Season)
SAN DIEGO STATE (20-8, 9-5) Head Coach: Steve Fisher Alma Mater: Illinois State, 1967 At SDSU: 125-114 (8th Season) Career: 309-196 (16th Season)
MEDIA COVERAGE Television: The Mtn. (Comcast 37) James Bates (play-by-play), Blaine Fowler (analyst) Radio: Sports Radio 700 The Zone Bill Riley (play-by-play), Mark Rydalch (analyst), Scott Gerrard (host) Internet Audio/Live Stats: www.UtahUtes.com
THE SERIES Overall: Utah leads 49-11 Utah Home/Away/Neutral: 26-2/19-8/4-1 Current Streak: San Diego State has won 1 Last Meeting: San Diego State won 63-53 on Jan. 27, 2007 in San Diego, Calif.
QUICKLY ON UTAH
The Runnin' Utes (10-17, 5-9 MWC) play their final home game of the season against the San Diego State Aztecs (20-8, 9-5 MWC) on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. (MST) at the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City. The game will be televised by The Mtn.--MountainWest Sports Network (Comcast 37 in Salt Lake City) and broadcast on SportsRadio 700 The Zone.
Utah snapped a three-game losing streak with a 93-91 double overtime victory over New Mexico on Saturday afternoon in the Huntsman Center. Earlier last week, Utah lost at Wyoming 86-78 on Wednesday night. The Utes are 8-6 at home this season, 1-9 on opponents' home courts and 2-10 away from home overall.
Sophomore center Luke Nevill (7-1, 265) is the Utes' leading scorer (16.9 ppg) and rebounder (7.6 rpg). He is shooting 63.0 percent from the field, 75.2 percent from the free throw line, and also has a team-best 27 blocked shots. Junior guard Johnnie Bryant (6-0, 180) is second on the team in scoring (15.5 ppg), and has connected on 43.7 percent (83-for-190) of his 3-point attempts and 81.2 percent of his free throws. Bryant leads the team in assists (2.70 apg). Sophomore forward Shaun Green (6-8, 208) is third on the team in scoring (11.7 ppg), and is second in both assists (2.59 apg) and rebounding (6.3 rpg). He is shooting 55.2 percent from the field and 55.3 percent (63-for-114) from 3-point range. Green also leads the Utes in steals (32) and is second in blocked shots (14).
In the latest NCAA statistical rankings released on Feb. 26, Utah ranks second in 3-point percentage (42.7), 12th in field goal percentage (49.3), 79th in 3-pointers made per game (7.5), 29th in free throw percentage (74.0) and 59th in rebound margin (+3.8 rpg). Nevill is ninth in field goal percentage (63.0) and 89th in rebounds per game (7.6). Bryant ranks 25th in 3-pointers made per game (3.1) and 20th in 3-point percentage (43.7). Green is out of the 3-point field goal rankings for the fourth consecutive week, missing the minimum mark to qualify of 2.5 made per game. His 3-point percentage of 55.3 would lead the nation.
RUNNIN' UTE NOTABLES
Seven of the 13 Utes who have seen action this season are first-year players. Six of those players are freshmen. The nine freshmen and sophomores who have played account for 67.5 percent of Utah's points, 83.0 percent of its rebounds, 64.6 percent of its assists and 68.0 percent of its minutes.
Utah has won its last five games decided by six points or less after losing its first nine this season.
Nine of Utah's 17 losses have come by a combined 27 points. The Utes have lost three games by one point, four by three points and one by four points. Three of Utah's losses have been in overtime.
In the last two games, Utah has shot 59.5 percent from the field and 51.5 percent from 3-point range.
The Utes have shot at least 50 percent from 3-point range 12 times and at least 50 percent from the field 13 times in 27 games this season.
Utah is 2-10 this season when opponents shoot at least 50 percent from the field and 5-14 when they shoot at least 40 percent from 3-point range.
The Utes are 8-0 when leading and 2-17 when trailing or tied at halftime this season.
SCOUTING SAN DIEGO STATE
The Aztecs are 20-8 overall and in fourth place in the Mountain West Conference with a 9-5 record. San Diego State is 5-6 on opponents' home courts and 7-6 away from home overall this season. The Aztecs have won two in a row and seven of their last eight games. Last week, SDSU won 81-74 in overtime at New Mexico on Tuesday night and defeated No. 21 BYU 86-74 at home on Saturday afternoon.
Senior guard Brandon Heath (6-4, 198) leads the Aztecs in scoring (19.5 ppg), and is second in both assists (3.6 apg) and steals (54). He is shooting 36.1 percent (70-for-194) from 3-point range and 77.0 percent from the field. Senior forward Mohamed Abukar (6-10, 216) is second on the team in both scoring (15.8 ppg) and rebounding (5.7 rpg). Sophomore forward Lorenzo Wade (6-6, 212) is third in scoring (11.1 ppg) and rebounding (5.4 rpg). Junior forward Jerome Habel (6-10, 220) is the fourth Aztec averaging double figures in points (11.0 ppg) and is the team's leading rebounder (6.3 rpg). Sophomore guard Richie Williams (5-9, 158) is SDSU's assists leader (4.53 apg).
The Aztecs rank sixth in the Mountain West in scoring offense (73.7 ppg), fourth in scoring defense (68.0 ppg), fourth in rebound margin (+1.0 rpg) and sixth in assist/turnover ratio (0.96).
COMPARING THE NUMBERS
Utah SDSU Overall Record 10-17 20-8 MWC Record 5-9 9-5 Scoring 69.8 73.7 Scoring Defense 71.6 68.0 FG% .493 .477 FG% Defense .496 .425 3-Pt. FG% .427 .357 3-Pt. FG% Defense .465 .326 FT% .740 .725 Rebound Margin +3.8 +1.0 Assists 14.3 14.5 Turnovers 14.5 15.1 Opp. Turnovers 11.4 15.8 Steals 4.8 8.0 Blocked Shots 2.1 4.0
AZTEC HEAD COACH STEVE FISHER
Steve Fisher is 125-114 in his eighth season at San Diego State and has a 309-196 career mark in 16 seasons. Fisher led San Diego State to the first round of the NCAA Tournament last season. The Aztecs also won the Mountain West Conference regular season and tournament titles while going 24-9 overall and 13-3 in league play. Their previous post-season appearance was in 2002-03 when they advanced to the second round of the NIT. In 2001-02, Fisher led SDSU to the Mountain West Conference Tournament title and its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1984-85. With a 21-12 record, SDSU also posted its highest single-season wins total since `84-85.
In his previous college head coaching job, Fisher led Michigan to a 184-82 record (.691), three NCAA Final Fours and eight trips to the NCAA Tournament from 1989-97. He was named the 1992 National Coach of the Year by Basketball Times after leading Michigan's "Fab Five" as freshmen to a 25-9 record and the NCAA title game. As the interim head coach in 1989, he led the Wolverines to a 6-0 record and the NCAA title.
UTAH VS. SAN DIEGO STATE SERIES NOTES
Utah and San Diego State meet for the 61st time on Tuesday night. The series dates back to a 98-89 Utah win on Dec. 13, 1975 in Salt Lake City. That was the only game played between the two teams before they became members of the WAC and later the Mountain West Conference.
The Utes lead the all-time series 49-11 and have won 29 of the last 33.
The Aztecs won the first meeting this season, 63-53 on Jan. 27 in San Diego, Calif. San Diego State has taken two of the last three games against the Utes.
The teams split the series in 2005-06. San Diego State broke Utah's six-game winning streak in the series with a 72-67 victory on Jan. 11 in Salt Lake City. Utah won 67-65 on Feb. 11 in San Diego.
In Salt Lake City, the Utes are 26-2 against SDSU. Utah had won 22 consecutive home games over the Aztecs before they broke through for a 72-67 win last season on Jan. 11. The Aztecs' only other win against the Utes in the Huntsman Center was 74-72 on Feb. 25, 1982.
In regular-season conference play, the Utes have a 43-10 advantage. Since the formation of the MWC in 1999-2000, Utah is 12-3 in regular season games.
Ray Giacoletti is 4-4 against San Diego State overall and 3-2 while at Utah. Giacoletti's first three games against the Aztecs took place in San Diego while he was the head coach at Eastern Washington.
Steve Fisher is 5-13 against Utah, including a 3-13 mark while at SDSU.
Jerome Habel scored 17 points as San Diego State overcame an 11-point second half deficit and beat Utah, 63-53, on Jan. 27 at Cox Arena. The victory snapped the Aztecs' two-game losing streak, while Utah had won its last two games.
Utah, sparked by Johnnie Bryant's three straight 3-pointers, went on a 15-4 run to open the second half and take a 40-29 lead with 15:40 left. However, San Diego State followed with an 11-0 run highlighted by Habel's reverse slam that tied the game at 40-40 with 11 minutes left.
Lorenzo Wade, who had 12 points, seven rebounds and a career-high five assists for the Aztecs finished off what was an 18-4 run with a three-point play on a dunk. That put San Diego State up 47-42 with 5:10 left in the game.
Utah, which went 5:38 without a point midway through the second half, did close to within two points at 49-47 on a pair of free-throws by Bryant. But the Aztecs finished the game with a 14-6 run connecting on 10 of its last 12 free throws and wound up outscoring the Utes, 34-13, over the final 15:55.
Brandon Heath scored 14 points for the Aztecs while Mohamed Abukar scored 12. Richie Williams, who had six points, also came up with a career-high six steals along with five assists for the Aztecs.
Utah had 21 turnovers, shot what was then a season low percentage from the field (37.3) and tied its second-lowest number of free throw attempts (10) versus the Aztecs. San Diego State shot 45.1 percent from the field but went 0-for-7 from 3-point range. Utah had a 32-28 edge on the boards. The Aztecs had 14 assists, 11 turnovers, 10 steals and six blocked shots.
The Runnin' Utes close out the regular season against the BYU Cougars on Saturday at 5:35 p.m. (MST). The game will be televised nationally by CSTV. Utah then heads to Las Vegas for the Mountain West Conference Tournament, next Tuesday through Saturday at the Thomas & Mack Center.