Bovine Blog: Utah State Faces Tough Road Test Against Santa Clara
Dec 12, 2023, 8:25 AM
LOGAN, Utah – Riding an eight-game winning streak, Utah State looks to keep its early season success rolling on the road against Santa Clara after three straight home wins.
USU (9-1) takes on the Santa Clara Broncos (7-3) at the Leavey Center on Wednesday, December 13.
— USU Men's Hoops (@USUBasketball) December 11, 2023
Rated No. 31 in the latest NCAA NET rankings, Utah State enters the matchup leading the nation in field goal shooting percentage. The Aggies have a nation’s best eight games of 50 percent or better shooting.
Junior wing Great Osobor’s 64 percent field goal rate is 26th in the country and he averages 19.5 ppg (39th). Freshman guard Mason Falslev is third in the nation among guards, connecting on 64.7 percent of his shots while scoring 12.8 points.
USU has been a selfless team all year, exhibited by averages of 19.3 assists (8th) and its 1.6 assist-to-turnover ratio (21st). Graduate senior guard Darius Brown II leads the passing attack with an NCAA-best 7.27 assists for every turnover. Brown II has dished out a career-high eight assists per game this season.
The Aggies are 4-0 all-time against Santa Clara, winning 96-74 in Logan last November. Taylor Funk’s 22-point, 11-rebound double-double with five steals led USU. Steven Ashworth made 4-of-6 threes, scoring 18 points in the win.
Previewing the Santa Clara Broncos
Led by eighth-year head coach Herb Sendek, Santa Clara has lost two straight, including a 93-76 loss to New Mexico on December 9.
The Broncos average 78.9 points per game while holding opponents to 72.1 points on 42 percent shooting. Turnover problems have been an issue as Santa Clara averages 13.6 giveaways each game.
Junior guard Adama-Alpha Bal leads two Broncos scorers in double-figures with 14.6 points per game on 47.5 percent from the field and 37.5 percent from three. Bal also leads SCU with three assists and 1.3 steals per contest.
Graduate senior Carlos Marshall Jr. is averaging 13.9 points and a team-high 6.2 rebounds while making 48.6 percent of his threes.
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