Jan. 5, 2012
LOGAN, Utah - Junior forward Kyisean Reed, sophomore guard Preston Medlin and a pair of first-half runs led Utah State men's basketball to a 72-53 win over Fresno State in both teams' Western Athletic Conference openers Thursday night at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
USU improved to 9-6 overall and 1-0 in the conference, as the four-time WAC Champions opened league play with a victory for the fourth time at home. The Aggies improved to 4-3 overall in WAC openers and 14-4 in league openers at home dating back to the 1978-79 season when they joined the Big West Conference.
Fresno State had its three-game winning streak halted by Thursday's loss, falling to 7-9 overall and 0-1 in WAC action. Thursday was also the 50th overall meeting between the Aggies and Bulldogs, and USU now leads 31-19, winning the last 10 meetings. It was also Utah State's 33rd-straight WAC win on its home court, as Fresno State was the last league team to beat USU with a 71-66 FS victory on March 3, 2007.
The Aggies are now 8-1 at home this season and have won 91 of their last 94 home games. Overall, USU is now 201-14 at home under head coach Stew Morrill, including 101-8 against conference foes.
Reed posted his first double-double of the season with 16 points and tied a career-high with 10 rebounds, to go with a career-high three blocked shots on the night as USU tied its season-high with seven blocks in the game. Medlin notched a game-high 19 points for his third-straight double-digit scoring outing and 10th in last 11 games as well as 11th overall on the year. Senior forward Morgan Grim also tallied double-figures, tossing in 10 points to go with eight boards, helping USU to a 31-25 rebounding advantage. All 11 Aggie players who suited up saw action Thursday, with eight different players scoring points. Senior guard Brockeith Pane dished out a game-high seven assists, his fourth game with at least five helpers.
Fresno State also had three players in double-figures, led by Jonathan Wills with 16 points while Jerry Brown added 14 points and Kevin Olekaibe scored 11 points, all in the first half and 7.7 below his WAC-leading 18.7 points per game average entering Thursday. Brown led the Bulldogs with seven rebounds.
USU shot a season-high 65.1 percent from the field (28-of-43), hitting 4-of-7 (57.1 percent) behind the arc, making its first three treys of the game. The Aggies also were 12-of-16 (75.0 percent) at the free throw line, making more than Fresno State shot, as the Bulldogs were 6-of-8 (75.0 percent).
Fresno State was 22-of-58 (37.9 percent) field goal shooting, making just 3-of-16 (18.8 percent) from three-point range, with all three makes coming in the first half while missing their last eight of the game.
After the Bulldogs took a 12-10 lead on a Olekaibe layup at the 13:30 mark, the Aggies reeled off a 13-0 run, started by a three-pointer from sophomore guard Mitch Bruneel just left of the top of the arc. Grim capped the streak with a free throw to give USU a 23-12 lead with 8:52 left in the half. The Bulldogs scratched and clawed at the deficit, trimming it to 29-24 with 2:11 to go in the first frame on a layup by Wills. That would be the closest Fresno State would get as Medlin regained control by hitting back-to-back three-pointers, the first from the right corner and the second from the top of the arc. Pane then provided the alley and Reed completed the oop with a jam in the waning seconds of the half to cap USU's 8-0 run to close out the half and send the Aggies into the locker room with a 37-24 lead. With Thursday's win, USU improved to 9-1 this season when leading at intermission, and have won 58 of last 59 games when leading at halftime.
The USU advantage grew to 46-27 after a Bruneel layup with 15:03 to go, completing a 15-2 Aggie spurt overlapping halftime. Three minutes later, Bruneel hit an acrobatic catch-and-shoot jumper from the right elbow as the shot clock buzzer went off. Fresno State cut the gap to 11 on two different occasions, the last at 54-43 with 8:38 left, but couldn't get any closer. The Aggie advantage swelled to its largest of the night at 21 with 1:07 to play after a pair of free throws by junior guard E.J. Farris made the score 72-51 and USU emptied its bench to seal the win.
Utah State hosts Nevada on Saturday, Jan. 7 at 7 p.m. (MT), completing a day-night doubleheader with the USU women who take on in-state foe Utah Valley at 2 p.m. Saturday's Aggie men's game will be regionally televised on the WAC Sports Network and will air locally on KMYU-TV, which can be found throughout the state on Comcast Ch. 22 as well as on the Dish Network (Ch. 12) and DirecTV (Ch. 12). KMYU is also available over-the-air on 2.2. KMYU-TV, which is owned by Sinclair Broadcasting Group, also owns Salt Lake City's CBS affiliate KUTV.
To purchase tickets, or for more Aggie basketball ticket information, fans can contact the USU Ticket Office at 1-888-USTATE-1 or 435-797-0305, in person at the USU Ticket Office inside the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, or on-line 24 hours a day at www.utahstateaggies.com by clicking on the "tickets" button.
Fans can follow the Aggie basketball program at twitter.com/Aggiehoops or on the USU men's basketball blog at usubasketball.blogspot.com. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program at twitter.com/USUAthletics or on facebook at Utah State University Athletics.
Utah State Faces UC Irvine ...12/05/2017
Sam Merrill Named America...
LOGAN, Utah - Utah State sophomore guard Sam Merrill has been named the America First Credit...12/04/2017
Tim Duryea Coaches Show...
LOGAN, Utah - Utah State head men’s basketball coach Tim Duryea will talk with radio host...12/04/2017
Utah State Loses to In-Stat...
LOGAN, Utah – Utah State missed 13 of its 23 free throws against in-state rival BYU on...12/02/2017
Utah State Returns to Logan...12/01/2017
Utah State Men's Basketball...
VALPARAISO, Ind. – Utah State (4-4) capped a season-long 13-day road trip with a 72-65 loss...11/28/2017
Utah State Closes Road Trip...11/27/2017
Sam Merrill Named America...
Utah State sophomore guard Sam Merrill has been named the America First Credit Union Utah State...11/27/2017
Official Aggie Gear