SAN JOSE, Calif. If recent history stays its course, Utah State will come out victorious tonight against San Jose State.
Last year, the Aggies entered the final game of the two-game Western Athletic Conference series with back-to-back losses at Nevada and Hawaii and beat the Spartans, 66-57.
This year, the Aggies enter the 8 p.m. game under the same conditions.
Utah State lost at Nevada, 85-80, one week ago, and Saturday night, the Aggies blew a 14-point second-half lead in losing to Hawaii, 71-65.
The difference between this year and last is the Aggies enter the game following a horrible loss.
"That's disappointing and sad," Utah State coach Stew Morrill told the Logan Herald Journal following the loss to Hawaii. "We worked too hard to put ourselves in a position to win ... I'm sure they (the Warriors) feel like they won it. I feel like we lost it."
With 10 minutes left, the Aggies looked well in control with the 14-point advantage, but the Warriors turned it on down the stretch in posting the five-point upset victory.
The Aggies outshot and outrebounded the Warriors (they did the same against Nevada) and lost.
Hawaii scored 24 points off 20 Utah State turnovers.
"Turn it over, turn it over, turn it over for layups," Morrill told the Honolulu Advertiser. "Just totally lost our composure. Panicked. We panicked and didn't make solid plays."
Although history may be on the side of the Aggies, they are tempting fate.
The last five times the Spartans and Aggies have played, the final score was never greater than 11 points in all five Utah State wins. One was decided by three points, and the last time they played in San Jose it was a one-point game and the Spartans had a shot to win it at the buzzer.
Utah State nearly blew a large lead to San Jose State just over a week ago but held on for the 78-73 victory.
The Spartans (11-13, 3-8) led by two points early into the second half before Utah State went on a 12-0 run to build a 10-point lead.
"We had one good spurt that gave us a cushion, and we hung on for dear life," Morrill said.
The Spartans cut the lead to three with four seconds left.
Utah State leads the all-time series 39-20, and the Aggies have won six straight games.
The Spartans snapped a three-game losing streak with a 71-61 victory over Louisiana Tech Saturday night.The Aggies are currently tied for first place in the WAC with Boise State and New Mexico State.
Aggies on the air
Utah State (18-8, 8-3) at San Jose State (11-13, 3-8)
Today, 8 p.m., The Event Center
TV: None Radio: 610 AM, 95.9 FM (Logan), 1320 or 1230 AM (S.L.)
E-mail: [email protected]