Men's Basketball Storms Past Idaho 80-58
Jan. 6, 2001
MOSCOW, Idaho - In a second-half outburst that saw Utah State outscore Idaho 53-25, the Aggies turned a six-point half-time deficit into a 22-point win to improve to 12-2 on the season and 2-0 in the Big West Conference. The Vandals dropped to 3-10 on the year with the loss and 0-2 in league play.
"To Idaho's credit, they really had us out of sorts in the first-half," commented Utah State head coach Stew Morrill. "They were playing really hard and pressuring us, and we were very tentative. They did a lot of really good things in the first-half and we didn't look like a veteran basketball team.
"In the second-half we came out and answered the challenge and played very, very aggresive basketball on both ends and that is what got us the win. We have to have balance among our perimiter and post to play well and I thought we had that in the second-half."
After opening the game with a 7-2 advantage, Utah State seemed to get lost in a fog for the remainder of the first-half as Idaho built a 10-point advantage at 27-17 with just over four minutes remaining in the opening period. USU dug in defensively late in the first-half and cut the Vandal lead to three at 30-27 before sophomore center Chris Monroe hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to give UI a six-point lead going into the locker room.
In the second half, Utah State finally got rolling, both offensively and defensively, and tied the game at 35 in just over two minutes of play. Idaho recaptured the lead at 37-35, and from that point on it was all USU as the Aggies went on a 37-15 run over the next 15 minutes to take a 20-point lead. The Aggies hit 15-of-17 free-throws in the second-half and eight-of-nine in the final two minutes to notch the 22-point win, which was Utah State's largest lead of the game.
Junior guard Tony Brown (Hyrum, Utah) finished with a game-high 23 points, while senior guard Bernard Rock (New York, N.Y.) had 12 points. Senior center Dimitri Jorssen (Theux, Belguim) recorded his first double-double of the year with 10 points and 10 rebounds, while senior forwards Shawn Daniels (Bakersfield, Calif.) and Curtis Bobb (Aurora, Colo.) also added 10 points apiece.
For the game, Utah State shot 58.1 percent from the field, including an amazing 77.3 percent in the second-half. The Aggies also shot 82.8 percent from the free-throw line and outrebounded Idaho 35-22. The Vandals shot just 36.7 percent overall and made only one three-pointer in the game.
Utah State has now won 21 games in a row in the Big West Conference and 11 in a row on the road in league play.
Utah State will return home to the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum to face Long Beach State (8-6, 2-0) in the first game of a four-game homestand on Thursday, Jan. 11 at 10 p.m. (MST) as the game will be televised live on ESPN.