Jan. 15, 2014
LOGAN, Utah - A double-double from senior center Jarred Shaw as part of three players in double-digit points propelled Utah State men's basketball to a hard-fought, 57-50, win over Colorado State Wednesday night at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
Shaw posted his third double-double of the season and 12th of his career with 17 points and 10 rebounds, adding a season-high three blocked shots. He was one of three players in double-digit points, joined by 17 from fellow seniors, guard/forward Spencer Butterfield with 17 points and guard Preston Medlin with 12 points. Butterfield hit a career-high five three-pointers, adding five rebounds, one blocked shot, one steal and one assist. Medlin hit three treys of his own and also tied a career-high with eight assists, adding two rebounds and one steal.
CSU was led by J.J. Avila with 21 points and Daniel Bejarano with 20 points, but they were the only Rams with over five points and only two of the four CSU players to score, as Joe De Ciman added five points and Marcus Holt tallied four, with eight of those nine combined points coming in the second half. Avila and Bejarano each pulled down eight rebounds, helping CSU to a 37-31 rebounding advantage, as USU was out-rebounded for just the fourth time this season, improving to 3-1 when getting out-rebounded.
Utah State shot 19-of-48 (39.6 percent) from the field, hitting 11-of-21 (52.4 percent) from three-point range. The Aggies hit double-digit treys for the fifth time this season and third in last four games, as well as the posting the fifth game making over half of their shots behind the arc. USU was also 8-of-12 (66.7 percent) at the free throw line.
The Aggie defense limited the Rams to 36.2 percent (17-of-47) from the field, marking the seventh time this season that USU has held the opposition to less than 40 percent shooting. CSU was also 5-of-19 (26.3 percent), marking the eighth time this year USU has held its opponent below 30.0 percent shooting from behind the arc. The Rams also were 11-of-20 (55.0 percent) at the charity stripe.
There were 36 fouls called and 36 field goals made in the game, with both teams having 14 turnovers. The Aggies were able to out-score the Rams, 16-6, in points off turnovers, as well as 9-4 in bench points.
Utah State improved to 4-0 this season when holding its opponent under 60 points, as the 50 points scored by CSU Wednesday night matches a season-low by a USU opponent by Troy on Dec. 20. The Aggies have scored under 60 points only twice this season, with both coming in the last two games after 54 points in a 62-54 loss at Nevada on Jan. 11.
The visiting Rams jumped out to a 5-0 lead after a jumper and three-point play by Avila, but the Aggies rallied to take their first lead of the night at 18-15 with 4:02 to go in the first half after back-to-back three-pointers by Medlin from the top of the arc and Butterfield from the corner. CSU later took a 19-18 lead at the 2:50 mark after a deep trey from the left wing by Bejarano with the shot clock winding down, but USU out-scored the visitors, 9-3 the rest of the half with Shaw hitting a three-point play of his won with four ticks to play for a 27-22 Aggie advantage at halftime.
Butterfield drained the first of four second-half three-pointers just 17 seconds into the second stanza for USU's largest lead of the night at the time at 30-22, but CSU countered with an 8-2 run, capped by an Avila layup to close to 32-30 with 15:05 on the clock. That would be the closest the Rams would get as Shaw regained control for the Aggies with a dunk off a dish from Medlin, starting a 12-4 streak for USU. The run was capped by a three-pointer from the left corner by junior forward Danny Berger for a 44-34 lead with 8:38 left, for the Aggies' largest lead of the night. Another Shaw three-point play matched USU's 10-point lead at 50-40 with 4:52 to go.
However, CSU wouldn't go away, scoring back-to-back buckets to pull within 50-44 at the 4:05 mark, but Butterfield drained a triple from deep in the right corner, getting fouled and knocked into his teammates on the bench, and then hit the ensuing free throw to cap the four-point play and putting USU back on top by 10 at 54-44 with 3:40 left. Butterfield's fourth trey of the half and fifth of the night would be the Aggies' last field goal made of the night, as they hit 2-of-3 free throws down the stretch to secure the win.
Utah State returns to the road for the first two-game road stretch of the Mountain West schedule, heading to Boise, Idaho to take on Boise State on Saturday, Jan. 18 at 7 p.m. (MT) at BSU's Taco Bell Arena. The battle between the Aggies and Broncos will not be televised, but will be streamed on the Internet on ESPN3.com.
The Aggies continue on the road on Wednesday, Jan. 22, playing at UNLV in a 9 p.m. (MT) tip-off in a nationally-televised game on CBS Sports Network.
Utah State returns to the friendly confines of the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum for a two-game homestand, starting with San Diego State on Saturday, Jan. 25 and New Mexico on Tuesday, Jan. 28, both at 9 p.m. (MT) tip-offs.
All USU men's basketball single-game, multi-game and season tickets are on sale. Single-game tickets cost $18 for non-priority and $20 for priority, as well as $25 for premium game against UNLV (Feb. 15).
To order a package or for more Aggie men's basketball ticket information, fans can contact the USU Athletics Ticket Office over the phone by calling 1-888-USTATE-1 or 435-797-0305 during regular hours of operation. Fans can also buy their tickets in person at the USU Ticket Office inside the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum or online by clicking on the "Buy Tickets" tab at www.UtahStateAggies.com.
Fans can follow the Aggie men's basketball program at twitter.com/AggieHoops. USU fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program at twitter.com/USUAthletics, on facebook at Utah State University Athletics or on instagram at instagram.com/USUAthletics.
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