Twenty-three is a nice, basketball-oriented number.
Michael Jordan uses it.The Aggies would like to borrow it for a while, starting this evening.
Utah State has 22 straight home basketball wins to tie its school record.
A 23rd straight win tonight by the Big West-leading Aggies (17-5, 8-1) over Cal-Fullerton (8-11, 3-6) in the Smith Spectrum starting at 7 would give this team of Mighty Mites that coach Larry Eustachy likes so much a real legacy, something nobody in 94 years of USU basketball has ever accomplished.
"That's great," Eustachy said after the Ags won No. 22 Thursday by 22 points (74-52) with a 22-rebound margin (49-27) over Nevada (10-8, 6-3). "I'd like to break it Saturday," Eustachy said. "It's going to be tough for us to come down (from the high of beating their closest competitor on national TV) and play."
"It doesn't mean much to me. We try to win them all," said Aggie guard Marcus Saxon (17.4 ppg) early Friday morning after Thursday's nationally televised late-nighter.
"Right now," said forward Pharoah Davis, "we're wearing the biggest target in the league on our backs." USU leads the Big West by a game and the Eastern Division by two games. Davis and 6-foot-6 center Donnie Johnson combined for 37 points and 25 rebounds Thurs-day.
After tonight, the Aggies have only two home games remaining this season. They are 12-0 at home this season. Fullerton has lost 14 straight in the Spectrum; its last win there was in 1982.
Fullerton actually is better on the road (3-2) in league play than at home (0-4) after snapping a 12-game road-losing streak on Jan. 10 at North Texas. The Titans won 51-48 Thursday at Irvine in a dreadful shooting game for both teams (CSUF 31 percent from the field to UCI's 30). The Titans won the rebound battle 43-39. Guard Chris Dade (17.2 average) led Titan scoring with 13 on 3-for-10 shooting. Freshman Matt Caldwell led all rebounders with eight.