Morrill Becomes USU's Winningest Coach With Aggies' 82-78 Triumph Over Boise State Thursday
Jan. 17, 2008
LOGAN, Utah - Utah State head coach Stew Morrill became the winningest coach in school history with the Aggies' 82-78 victory over Boise State Thursday night in a Western Athletic Conference battle at Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. The win was Morrill's 226th at USU, passing E. Lowell Romney's (1920-41) 225 victories.
Senior All-American guard Jaycee Carroll netted a game-high 29 points, including 19 in the second half, giving him 2,126 career points and leaving him two shy of breaking USU's career scoring record, held by Greg Grant (1983-86) with 2,127 points.
Freshman forward Tyler Newbold (Payson, Utah) drained two free throws with 3.4 seconds remaining to seal the win, which was USU's eighth victory in a row. The Aggies improved to 13-5 overall and 3-0 in WAC play, maintaining their perch atop the conference standings.
The loss was Boise State's second in its last three outings as the Broncos fell to 12-5 overall and 3-2 in WAC action. The Broncos also had their six-game road winning streak snapped with the defeat.
USU improved to 14-0 at home against BSU and the last two games have had an Aggie winning advantage of a combined five points after last year's 80-79 win. Overall, Utah State has won 14 of the last 17 games in the series in improving to 20-6 all-time against Boise State.
The Aggies have now won all 11 of their home games this season, the only team in the league with an unblemished home ledger, and now have a 26-game home winning streak in the month of January. Utah State is now 16-3 at home against WAC foes.
Carroll, an Evanston, Wyo., native, drained five three-pointers as part of his 9-of-14 field goal shooting to go along with a 6-of-6 outing at the free throw line. He also tied Grant for the USU record for career starts with his 115th and passed Grant for the school record for minutes played as Carroll now has 3,938, passing Grant's 3,923.
Two other Aggies joined Carroll with double-figures as junior forward Gary Wilkinson (South Jordan, Utah) tied a career-high for the third time this season with 21 points while freshman forward Tai Wesley (Provo, Utah) netted 10 points.
Senior guard Kris Clark (Wilmington, N.C.) also tied a career-high by dishing out 10 assists while Wilkinson snared a team-high seven rebounds as USU was out-rebounded, 32-25.
USU shot 54.0 percent (27-of-50) from the field, hitting 6-of-15 (40.0 percent) behind the three-point arc.
Boise State was led by Matt Bauscher's 24 points, including six three-pointers, while Tyler Tiedeman tallied 20 points. Reggie Larry had a double-double with 14 points and a game-high 12 rebounds and Matt Nelson tossed in 11.
The Broncos came into Thursday leading the NCAA in field goal percentage at 52.3 percent, but shot 48.3 percent (29-of-60), including 12-of-26 (46.2 percent) from three-point range.
Utah State made more free throws than Boise State attempted as the Aggies were 22-of-29 (75.9 percent) compared to just 8-of-11 (72.7 percent) for the Broncos.
After Boise State took an early 13-8 lead after a Bauscher three-pointer, Clark triggered a 16-2 USU spurt with a jumper that junior guard Desmond Stephens (Bloomington, Ind.) capped with a trey from the left wing for a 24-15 Aggie lead with 6:37 left in the opening half.
The Broncos charged back with eight unanswered to pull within, 26-25, but the Aggies pulled away for a 37-31 halftime lead.
Boise State opened the second half with a 13-6 run to go up, 44-43, but three free throws from Carroll regained control for USU and the Aggies never relinquished the lead the rest of the game, leading by as much as nine on two different occasions, at 56-47 after a Wesley jumper and 69-60 with 4:46 to play after a three-point play from Wilkinson, capping eight straight USU points.
The Broncos trimmed the deficit to one at 74-73 with 1:05 left after a Tiedeman jumper and then Carroll and Larry traded three-pointers, the later coming with 20.9 ticks on the clock.
Clark was fouled on the in bounds pass, and made both ensuing free pitches with 20.1 left. Bauscher hit a pair of free throws with 14.7 seconds and then Clark hit one-of-two at the charity stripe with 14.2 ticks, followed by Newbold's two free shots to secure the win.
The Aggies wrap up their eight-game homestand by hosting Idaho on Saturday, Jan. 19, at 7 p.m. at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. The Idaho game will be broadcast on KJZZ (Comcast Ch. 14 in Cache Valley), and will also be available on the internet through UtahState.tv.
USU then heads to Louisiana Tech on Thursday, Jan. 24 at 6 p.m. (MT) and New Mexico State on Saturday, Jan. 26, in a game which will be nationally telecast on ESPN2 at 4 p.m. (MT).
The Aggies return home on Saturday, Feb. 2, hosting Nevada at 7 p.m.
USU basketball games are broadcast on KVNU (610 AM) and KLZX (95.9 FM) in Logan, Utah, KFAN (1320 AM) or ESPN Radio (1230 AM) in Salt Lake City and KLZX (105.3 FM) in Montpelier, Idaho, as well as on the internet at www.UtahStateAggies.com through Yahoo! Sports. Al Lewis serves as the play-by-play announcer.
For Utah State basketball ticket information, fans can go to www.UtahStateAggies.com and click on "tickets" or call the USU Ticket Office at 1-800-USTATE-1 or 435-797-0305.