LOGAN, Utah Following a 64.3 percent shooting performance from three-point range against San Jose State in its last game, Utah State’s men’s basketball team is now shooting 42.6 percent from behind the arc on the season which ranks first in the nation according to the latest NCAA statistics released Monday. Utah State also ranks second in the nation in free throw shooting at 77.4 percent, is fifth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.53), ninth in fewest turnovers committed per game (10.8) and 10th in field goal shooting (.487). Overall, Utah State is one of just three teams in the nation to rank among the top 10 nationally in all three shooting categories along with Brigham Young and Saint Mary’s. Utah State has led the nation in field goal shooting each of the last two seasons as it shot 49.6 percent during the 2008-09 season and 51.4 percent following the 2007-08 campaign. USU also led the nation in field goal shooting during the 2004-05 season at 52.5 percent and its streak of being the top field goal shooting team three times during the last five years is the best five-year stretch in the history of the NCAA. Overall this year, Utah State ranks among the top 22 nationally in nine different statistical categories as it also ranks 13th in the nation in scoring margin (+13.4), 17th in assists per game (16.4), 22nd in rebounding margin (+6.2) and 24th in scoring defense (60.5). Individually, junior forward Tai Wesley ranks 15th in the nation in field goal shooting at 56.4 percent and senior guard Jared Quayle ranks 34th with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.35-to-1.00. Along with being the top three-point shooting team in the nation this week, Utah State is also receiving votes in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll and is tied with Florida State for 38th in the nation as both teams garnered three votes. Utah State (20-6, 10-2) recorded its 11th-straight 20-win season last weekend with an 81-65 road win at San Jose State, marking the 26th time in school history USU has won at least 20 games. Overall, USU has won 14 of its 16 games including each of its last 10 as the Aggies currently have the fourth-longest winning streak in the nation. Utah State will play a pair of home games this week as it hosts Louisiana Tech (20-5, 8-3) on Wednesday, Feb. 17 at 9 p.m., and Wichita State (21-6, 10-5) out of the Missouri Valley Conference on Saturday, Feb. 20 at 10 p.m. in an ESPNU BracketBuster game. Both games this week will be televised live nationally on ESPN2. -USU-
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