LOGAN – After three-straight losses dropped the Utah State basketball team to 3-3, head basketball Tim Duryea said his team needs to toughen up.
Losses to Purdue and Texas Tech in Mexico were followed by what Duryea called a “totally embarrassing performance” against BYU in Salt Lake City. Now, USU will get to play at home again. The Aggies will host the Indiana State Sycamores Saturday night at 7 p.m. in the Spectrum.
Recent competitions have put USU against higher-ranked and traditionally better basketball programs, but the Aggies’ stats don’t come close to matching the earlier performances. The first three games were won by an average of 16.3 points; the last three were lost by an average of 19.
“It just comes down to toughness,” senior wing Jalen Moore said. “I think we’ll fix it.”
Saturday night’s game will be a “blackout.” Both players and fans will wear black to create a different atmosphere. Moore welcomes another Spectrum game.
“I think we need it,” Moore said. “I think we need to go back home and play a game in our home arena.”
Indiana State is 3-4 with wins over Ball State, Missouri-St. Louis and Northern Illinois. Not one of its four losses – which include games against Iowa State and Stanford – has been by more than three points.
The Sycamores are led by former Missouri Valley Conference Freshman of the Year Brenton Scott. The 6-foot-1 junior leads the team in average minutes (31.9) and points (19.3) while his 5.1 rebounds per game rank second on the team.
But it’s a different 6-foot-1 guard that leads the team in other categories. Senior Everett Clemons averages 6.1 rebounds, 5.6 assists and 2.3 steals per game, all team highs.
Duryea said there was no silver lining in Wednesday night’s loss. He referenced many areas where improvement has to happen.
“We’re having too much slippage from practice to games in terms of moving the ball and maybe getting a little bit easier shot,” Duryea said. “We’re settling for tough shots and not enough of them are going in.”