Jan. 3, 2004
LOGAN, Utah - Cardell Butler scored a career-high 28 points and Nate Harris added a career-high 17 points to lead Utah State to a 69-56 victory against Idaho to open Big West Conference play here Saturday.
With the victory USU improved to 9-1 on the season and 1-0 in league play, while Idaho fell to 3-7 and 0-1.
Butler hit a blistering 10 of 11 field goal lattempts, including six of seven three-point attempts en route to scoring the most points by an Aggie since Desmond Penigar scored 29 against Weber State on Dec. 21, 2002.
Butler's previous scoring best was 27 points against Idaho State in December. Harris meanwhile hit eight of 10 shots for 17 points, while adding six rebounds. USU's next best scorers were Mike Ahmad and Mark Brown with six apiece.
Idaho was led by Dwayne WIlliams, who had 11 points and Dandrick Jones, who scored 10.
The Aggies shot 55.1 percent from the field while holding Idaho to just 39.3 percent shooting. The Aggies also out-rebounded the smaller Vandlas 37-26. Spencer Nelson led the way with a season-high 12 rebounds, including nine in the first half.
Idaho held its last lead of the game at 17-14 before USU built the margin to 36-27 at halftime. USU then pushed its advantage to 22 points at the 12:04 mark with a Mike Ahmad layup that made the score 55-33.
While USU hit 55.1 percent of its field goal attempts and seven of 14 three-point attempts. the Aggies made just eight of 16 free throw attempts.
Utah State will continue league play with a tough road trip to Big West preseason favorite UC Santa Barbara on Thursday and at Cal Poly on Saturday.
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