When looking at the University of Hawaii's season showing, ignore the overall record and look at its league mark at home.
The Warriors are under .500 overall, but in Western Athletic Conference league games on The Islands they are 4-1, and that loss was to second-place Nevada.
The two teams kicked off conference play on Jan. 3 in Logan, with Utah State walking away with an 86-80 victory. Since then, the Warriors have gained their stride.
"I think they have gotten a lot better. They had some tough home losses in the non-conference and it would have been real easy to get your head down and compound the problem, and they have not. They've gotten better," Utah State coach Stew Morrill said.
"I think they're a team that has taken great pride in not giving into a little adversity, and what I see is a job well done by the coaches and players."
The Warriors (10-12, 6-4) have won five of their last seven games, and they are currently tied for fourth place in the league with Nevada, which lost at Boise State on Thursday night.
The Aggies (18-7, 8-2) enter the contest with a one-game lead over Boise State and New Mexico State in the league standings.
Tonight's game tips off at 10 p.m. (MT).
"It's always a challenge when you get over there because they play so well there, and it's going to take a really good effort to have a chance," Morrill said.
Both teams enter the game with recent losses to Nevada. Utah State lost 85-80 on Monday night, while Hawaii lost 88-68 last Saturday.
In the first meeting between the two teams, the Aggies shot 61 percent from the field, while Hawaii shot a respectable 47.4 percent.
"We have to play better defense that we consistently play. That will be the message: If they want to win, they will have to guard better," Morrill said.
Utah State's Tai Wesley scored a career-high 27 points, and Jaycee Carroll added 26. The duo shot a combined 15-of-19 from the field and 19-of-24 from the foul line.
Hawaii's Matt Gibson dropped in 25 points, while Bobby Nash finished with 19.Utah State leads the all-time series 6-3, but the Aggies are 0-2 in games at Hawaii.
Aggies on the air
Utah State (18-6, 8-2) at Hawaii (10-12, 6-4)
Tonight,. 10 p.m., Stan Sheriff Center
E-mail: [email protected]