Jan. 11, 2010
LOGAN, Utah - Torching the nets to the tune of 73.1 percent in the first half led to a season-high 54 points at halftime and Utah State tallied a season-high scoring output with a 98-54 rout of Hawai'i in USU's home Western Athletic Conference opener at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum Monday night.
USU's 98 points was the most since 102 on Nov. 26, 2005 in a 102-65 win over Lewis & Clark College. It was the Aggies' most points ever scored in a WAC game and the most in the conference contest since a 102-76 Big West win over North Texas on Feb. 28, 1997.
The Aggies snapped a two-game losing skein, improving to 11-6 overall and 1-2 in WAC play while Hawai'i dropped to 8-9 this season and 1-3 in WAC action. Monday was USU's third win in a row over UH, improving to 9-4 all-time, including 7-1 in Logan. The 44-point winning margin is the largest in the series by either team.
USU's 44-point winning margin was its largest win since an 87-42 triumph over Loyala Marymount on Dec. 30, 2004.
It was the Aggies' largest WAC win ever, topping a 38-point victory in an 80-42 win at Idaho on Feb. 15, 2006. Monday's win was also the biggest conference victory ever for USU and the largest since a 39-point scoring rout in 1918-19 with a 50-11 blasting of the Bobcats from Montana State.
The Aggies' 54 first-half points was the most since 56 in the opening stanza on the way to a 92-74 win over Drake on Nov. 18, 2006.
Utah State shot season-highs for field goals made, field goal and three-point percentages, hitting a scorching 19-of-26 (73.1 percent) of its shots in the first half, including 7-of-8 (87.5 percent) from three-point range. The Aggies finished the night hitting 61.8 percent (34-of-55) from the field, including 11-of-16 (68.8 percent) behind the arc. It was the fourth time this season that USU made double-digit three-pointers, led by the season-best 13 treys in a win over Utah Valley on Dec. 12. Utah State was also 19-of-25 (76.0 percent) at the free throw line Monday.
By holding Hawai'i under 60 points, it was the seventh time this season that the Aggie defense had held the opposition under that plateau, improving to 6-1 when doing so this season and 145-12 under head coach Stew Morrill.
Hawai'i shot 32.8 percent (20-of-61) from the field, making 8-of-24 (33.3 percent) of its shots from three-point range. The Warriors were 6-of-14 (42.9 percent) at the charity stripe, marking the sixth time this season that the Aggies made more free throws than the opponent attempted.
The junior trio of guard Tyler Newbold and forwards Nate Bendall and Tai Wesley netted 15 points each, as Wesley now has 998 career points, needing two more to become the 34th Aggie player to reach the 1,000 point milestone, including the seventh under Morrill.
Senior guard Jared Quayle was the fourth USU starter in double-digits with 11, tying a game-high with five helpers, part of the 21 assists by the Aggies. Quayle now has 204 career assists, becoming the 26th player in school history with 200 career helpers, joining teammates Newbold and Wesley in the 200-career assist club. Junior guard Pooh Williams just missed putting all five starters in double-figures, posting nine points, which were matched by freshman guard Preston Medlin and junior Brian Green, hitting all three of three-point attempts.
Newbold saw that and raised it two by tying a career-high five triples, as well as matching his season-high for the third time this season. Newbold is the third-different Aggie player to hit five three-pointers in a game, joining Quayle (Nov. 18 at Utah) and Medlin (Nov. 28 vs. Southern Utah). Newbold's 1.000 percentage makes him the fourth player in school history with a perfect three-point percentage when shooting at least five.
Hawai'i was led by 12 points by Dwain Williams off the bench, while Brandon Adams added 10 points to go with a team-best eight rebounds.
Wesley snared nine rebounds, while sophomore forward Brady Jardine collected eight boards, helping USU to a 40-31 rebounding advantage, improving to 10-5 when out-rebounding the opposition. Jardine also had a career-high four blocked shots, as the Aggies matched their season-high by swatting seven, marking the second-straight game and third time this season in doing so. Utah State also tied a season-best by swiping nine steals, with Williams, Quayle and Jardine snaring two each.
USU hit five of its first seven field goals in jumping out to an 11-5 lead in the first four and a half minutes. Back-to-back dunks by Wesley and Williams preceded a spinning layup by Williams to cap a 10-0 USU run for a 21-8 lead with 10:32 on the clock, and the Aggies maintained a double-digit lead for the rest of the game.
The lead reached 20 for the first time at 37-17 with 5:38 to go after a Jardine jumper, and grew to 45-19 after a three-pointer by Newbold from the left wing, USU's sixth trey in seven attempts. That was part of a 9-0 run that pushed the Aggie lead to 30 at the first time at 49-19 on two makes by Bendall from the free pitch line. Quayle hit a long three-pointer from the top of the arc at the halftime buzzer for a 54-26 USU lead at the break, as the Aggies were 7-of-8 (87.5 percent) from downtown in the opening stanza.
Quayle's three-pointer started a 21-2 USU spurt overlapping halftime as the Aggies opened a 44-point lead at 72-28, as Quayle ended the streak with a layup at the 14:51 mark, part of a 35-9 Utah State run since the scoreboard read 37-19.
A three-pointer by sophomore guard Jaxon Myaer from the top of the arc gave USU its largest lead of the night at 49 points with an 82-33 lead with 11:16 to go and the Aggies coasted to the victory.
Utah State heads to Reno, Nev. to take on Nevada on Wednesday, Jan. 13 at 9 p.m. (MT). The battle between the Aggies and Wolf Pack will be nationally televised on ESPNU (Comcast Ch. 400 in Cache Valley).
USU returns to the friendly confines of the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum on Saturday, Jan. 16, hosting Boise State in a 7 p.m. (MT) tip-off. Saturday's game will be broadcast on CW30 (Comcast Ch. 15 in Cache Valley).
For Utah State men's basketball ticket information, contact the USU Ticket Office at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, by phone by calling 1-888-USTATE-1 or (435) 797-0305, or online 24 hours a day at www.UtahStateAggies.com and clicking on the "buy/renew tickets" under the "tickets" drop down menu.
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