Basketball Opens Big West Play With 82-69 Win At Cal Poly
Jan. 4, 2001
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - Behind 24 points and seven rebounds from senior forward Shawn Daniels (Bakersfield, Calif.), Utah State opened Big West play the way they ended league play last year, as the Aggies posted a 82-69 win here tonight. USU has now won 20 league games in a row, and 10 in a row on the road. The Aggies improved to 11-2 overall and 1-0 in the Big West Conference with the win, while Cal Poly dropped to 5-5 overall and 0-1 in league play with the loss.
"Every road game we had last year was like this," commented Utah State head coach Stew Morrill. "We answered the bell when they were the aggressors in the start of the second half and then we came out and made the plays we needed to make to win the game."
Utah State waisted little time in setting the tone for the game as the Aggies raced out to a 24-8 lead in the first nine minutes. Cal Poly shaved that lead to 13 points at the break as USU went into the locker room with a 38-25 advantage.
Senior forward Curtis Bobb (Aurora, Colo.) had 11 points at half-time as USU shot 48.4 percent from the floor in the first-half and forced the Mustangs into 14 turnovers in the opening period.
In the second half, Cal Poly opened with a 8-2 run to cut the Aggie lead to eight in the first three minutes. With the score 54-43 Utah State, the Mustangs went on a 11-4 run to cut the lead to four points at 58-54 with 9:22 remaining. Both teams traded baskets over the next three minutes before USU on a 12-2 run to build a 14-point advantage with just over two minutes remaining. Bernard Rock (New York, N.Y.) then made six straight free-throws down the stretch to put the game away.
Along with Daniels' 24 points and seven rebounds, Bobb added 19 points and six rebounds. Junior guard Tony Brown (Hyrum, Utah) had 14 points and three assists, while Rock added 12 points and eight assists. Chris Bjorklund led Cal Poly with 19 points.
As a team, Utah State shot 50 percent from the floor on 30-of-60 shooting and 42 percent from three-point range. Cal Poly shot 44 percent overall, but just 33 percent from behind the arc. USU had 18 assists and 13 turnovers in the game, while the Mustangs had just six assists and 17 turnovers.
Utah State will now travel to Moscow, Idaho to face the Vandals on Saturday, Jan. 6, at 8:00 pm (MST). Idaho is 3-9 on the year and 0-1 in league play following a home loss to Long Beach State.