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Utah State looking for similar success with different formula against Idaho, Seattle

Published January 29, 2013 12:46 pm
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Last week, Idaho and Seattle went 1-3 against UT San Antonio and Texas State, two of the Western Athletic Conference's weakest squads.

That's the kind of Texas two-step Utah State hopes to replicate this week.

The Vandals and the Redhawks will host the Aggies on Thursday and Saturday, respectively, and Utah State will try to get two much-needed wins to stop the four-game losing streak.

Unfortunately, the blueprint the Texas teams left for beating those same foes on the road isn't exactly one that fits the Aggies strengths. Pressure defense and high-volume scoring helped set the tone for the three victories, and even the 78-73 loss that UTSA suffered against Idaho.

"Both those teams are quite a bit better than they were when we saw them," coach Stew Morrill said Tuesday. "They cause a bunch of turnovers with their press. ... Unfortunately that's not a strength of ours. We're not going to go up there with eight guys and try to press you."

The Aggies won't be looking for scores in the 70s, and they're hoping to keep their opposing shooting percentages down. The 33.3 percent Louisiana Tech shot against them is close to where they hope to keep the Vandals and Redhawks.

Then there's Utah State's own shooting, which needs to improve. In the four-game slide, the Aggies have shot only 38.5 percent from the field, well below their season average of 46.9 percent. Morrill noted that he wanted to see his players hit more of the open layups and shots they've been missing in the losses.

Idaho is first on deck, and it shoots 48 percent from the field and outrebounds opponents by an average of seven boards a game.

"If we let them shoot those percentages and outrebound us, we're not going to be in the game," Morrill said.

— Kyle Goonkgoon@sltrib.comTwitter: @kylegoon




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