WAC rivals lock horns in Reno
Reno, NV (Sports Network) – The Utah State Aggies take on their toughest
opponent of the season tonight as they matchup against the 18th-ranked
Nevada Wolf Pack in Western Athletic Conference action from the Lawlor
Events Center in Reno.
The Aggies, currently third in the WAC standings with a record of 4-2,
have won five straight games since falling in back-to-back outings versus
Boise State and Fresno State to open league play earlier this month. The
most recent win for USU came a week ago with a narrow 57-56 victory over
San Jose State on the road.
As for the Pack, they bounced back from their first WAC loss of the
campaign a week ago by posting an easy 84-67 triumph against Louisiana Tech
at home on Thursday night. The decision pushed Nevada to 6-1 in league play
and kept the squad in a tie for first place with the New Mexico State Aggies.
With respect to the all-time series between these two schools on the
hardwood, the Aggies are ahead of Nevada by a commanding 23-9 mark even
after the Pack defeated USU in the title game of last year’s WAC
Tournament with a 70-63 overtime decision.
Jaycee Carroll dropped in a game-high 22 points last week as the Aggies
defeated San Jose State in California. The victory pushed Utah State to
12-0 this season and 23-2 when Carroll puts up 20 points or more in a
contest. Also scoring in double figures for the Aggies was Chaz Spicer with
16 points, with the team getting a mere six points off the bench with only
two players seeing action in a reserve role. Carroll, one of the nation’s top
three-point shooters a year ago, is at it again this time around as he is
knocking down 44.3 percent out on the perimeter, which leads to his 21.1
ppg. But Carroll is much more than a deep threat these days because he is also
first on the team with 5.9 rpg and has converted 83-of-89 (.933) at the
free-throw line as well. Stephen DuCharme and Spicer account for 10.2 and
10.0 ppg, respectively, with the former chipping in 5.1 rpg and shooting
almost as well from the field (.601) as he is at the charity stripe (.612).
As a team, the Aggies are one of the most accurate shooters at the line in
the nation with a mark of 77.2 percent after 20 games.
Ramon Sessions took over the spotlight for a change with the Wolf Pack as
he tallied a game-high 21 points in the team’s double-digit victory over
Louisiana Tech on Thursday night. But more than shooting 8-of-12 from the
field and 5-of-6 at the free-throw line, Sessions also cleared seven
rebounds and handed out a team-high seven assists as well. Nick Fazekas
cruised through the evening with 13 points and seven boards, followed by
Marcelus Kemp who posted 12 points. Hard to believe but Sessions, who has
led the team in scoring in three of the last four outings, has actually
been to the free-throw line more than both Fazekas and Kemp, converting
90-of-111 to come upon his 14.2 ppg. Sessions, who raises his scoring
almost a full two points per game against WAC opponents, also paces the
program with 88 assists, so the Pack is now much more than just Fazekas
(19.9 ppg, 11.4 rpg), Kemp (18.7 ppg, 4.2 rpg) and those other guys.
However, make no mistake, when the Pack needs a big play they always turn
to the WAC’s two-time Player of the Year in Fazekas before considering