Jan. 15, 2012
RUSTON, La. - Senior point guard Brockeith Pane scored a career-high 24 points to lead Utah State to a 69-65 road win against Louisiana Tech here Saturday night as USU avoided its first three-game losing streak since the 2007-08 season.
Utah State improves to 10-8 on the season and 2-2 in Western Athletic Conference play with the win, while Louisiana Tech falls to 8-10 overall and 0-3 in league play with the loss. With the win, USU improved to 6-2 on the season following a loss and is now 2-6 on the road this year.
With his 24 points, Pane has now scored 20-plus points in two of his last three games and in three games on the season. Overall, it was Pane's sixth 20-point game of his career as he has now scored in double-figures 12 times this year and 34 times in his career.
Sophomore guard Preston Medlin added 11 points and a career-high nine rebounds for Utah State, while junior forward Kyisean Reed finished with 11 points and eight boards. USU also got 18 points from its bench, including a 16-3 edge in the second-half, as freshman forward Ben Clifford scored eight and sophomore forward Mitch Bruneel scored five including a three-pointer midway through the second-half that turned a one-point Aggie deficit into a two-point advantage.
Trailing 31-29 at halftime, Utah State opened the second-half on a 12-0 run to take a 41-31 lead with 16:56 to play. Louisiana Tech, however, scored the next 10 points to tie the game and eventually regained the lead at 51-50 with 9:16 to play before Bruneel's three. With the game tied at 53-53, USU went on a 12-2 run to go up 65-55 with 4:18 left, but the Bulldogs fought back to within two at 66-64 with 39 seconds remaining. From there, Medlin made a pair of free throws and Pane connected on 1-of-2 free pitches as USU held on for the 69-65 win.
Utah State, who shot 52.0 percent from the field in the second-half (13-25), finished the game shooting 49.1 percent (26-53). USU also shot 22.2 percent from three-point range (2-9) and 65.2 percent at the free throw line (15-23) as its two made treys ties its season-low. Louisiana Tech shot 38.7 percent (24-62), including 41.4 percent from behind the arc (12-29), but made just 5-of-10 (.500) free throws. LTU out-rebounded USU by three (39-36) and had nine more assists (17-8), while both teams finished with 14 turnovers.
For Utah State, it has now held 10 of its 18 opponents on the season to under 40 percent shooting.
Louisiana Tech raced out to an early 9-0 lead before senior forward Morgan Grim got the Aggies on the board with a layup three minutes into the game. The Bulldogs took its largest lead of the game at 20-8 with 13:12 to play in the half and later led 22-10 before Utah State fought back to close with 31-29 at the half as Pane scored USU's final 10 points.
Pane had 12 first-half points for Utah State, while Reed added nine points and six rebounds to go along with two dunks. USU shot 46.4 percent in the first-half (13-28), including 60.0 percent from the free throw line (3-5), but was 0-of-3 from three-point range. Louisiana Tech shot 36.4 percent in the first 20 minutes (12-33), including 50.0 percent from three-point range (7-14) as the Bulldogs began the game by making six of their first eight treys. LTU did not attempt a free throw in the first half.
Utah State will continue its season-long four-game road stretch next as it steps out of league play with a game at future WAC foe Seattle on Thursday, Jan. 19 at 8 p.m. (MT), before returning to conference action at Idaho on Saturday, Jan. 21 at 8 p.m. (MT).
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