FILE – USU players celebrate a basket during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Dec. 5, 2020, in Logan, Utah. (Eli Lucero/The Herald Journal via AP, Pool)

Utah State (8-3, 5-0) vs. New Mexico (3-5, 0-5)

Rip Griffin Center, Lubbock, Texas; Friday, 9 p.m. EST on FS1

BOTTOM LINE: Utah State looks for its ninth straight conference win against New Mexico. Utah State’s last MWC loss came against the New Mexico Lobos 66-64 on Feb. 29, 2020. New Mexico lost 77-45 to Utah State in its most recent game.

SQUAD LEADERSHIP: New Mexico’s Makuach Maluach has averaged 13.9 points and 6.3 rebounds while Rod Brown has put up 9.8 points and 5.1 rebounds. For the Aggies, Neemias Queta has averaged 12.4 points, 8.4 rebounds and 2.6 blocks while Justin Bean has put up 11.7 points and 7.5 rebounds.

RAMPING IT UP: The Aggies have scored 84.8 points per game and allowed 52 points per game across five conference games. Those are both significant improvements over the 67.4 points scored and 71.2 points given up per game to non-conference foes.

MIGHTY MAKUACH: Maluach has connected on 40.9 percent of the 22 3-pointers he’s attempted and has gone 4 for 12 over the last three games. He’s also converted 56.3 percent of his foul shots this season.

SLIPPING AT 68: New Mexico is 0-5 this year when it allows 68 points or more and 3-0 when holding opponents to fewer than 68.

ASSIST-TO-FG RATIO: The Lobos have recently used assists to create buckets more often than the Aggies. New Mexico has 34 assists on 56 field goals (60.7 percent) over its past three games while Utah State has assists on 52 of 92 field goals (56.5 percent) during its past three games.

DID YOU KNOW: The Utah State defense has allowed only 61.8 points per game to opponents, which is the 27th-lowest figure in the country. The New Mexico offense has averaged just 68 points through eight games (ranked 207th among Division I teams).

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