93°F
weather icon Clear

Breaking down UNLV’s game at Utah State

Breaking down UNLV’s basketball game against Utah State at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum in Logan, Utah:

Backcourt

Utah State’s Sam Merrill is making a strong push for All-Mountain West, averaging 19.4 points. The Aggies play an unselfish style, averaging a league-best 17.2 assists, which jumps to 18.9 against conference opponents. UNLV’s Kris Clyburn is having a strong senior season, averaging 13.6 points, 15.3 against conference opponents.

Edge: Utah State

Frontcourt

The Rebels received a scare when Joel Ntambwe suffered bruised ribs Tuesday against UNR, but he is expected to play. He averages 12.6 points and 6.3 rebounds, 15.8 and 7.0 against league teams. Utah State is first in the conference and fourth nationally in rebounding margin at 9.9, and Neemias Queta (10.9 points, 8.5 rebounds) is probably Ntambwe’s main challenger for MW Freshman of the Year.

Edge: Utah State

Bench

The Aggies get help from many sources, with six players having scored at least 20 points, just one of eight teams nationally that can make such a claim. Ten players average double-digit minutes. Injuries to the frontcourt have limited UNLV’s depth, though the Rebels haven’t exactly shortened their bench, with walk-ons receiving key minutes.

Edge: Utah State

Intangibles

Utah State’s student section generally is the Mountain West’s most vocal, and with the Aggies playing well, they should turn out in big numbers. Utah State is 9-1 at home.

Edge: Utah State

Betting line

Utah State -11½; total 150

More Rebels: Follow at reviewjournal.com/Rebels and @RJ_Sports on Twitter.

Contact Mark Anderson at manderson@reviewjournal.com. Follow @markanderson65 on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST