Jan. 18, 2014
BOISE, Idaho - Down by as much as 12 points late in the first half, Utah State men's basketball fought back and took the lead late in the game, but couldn't hold on as Boise State overtook the Aggies, 78-74, Saturday night at BSU's Taco Bell Arena.
USU fell to 12-5 overall and 2-3 in MW action, losing its third-straight road league game. BSU improved to 13-5 overall and 3-2 in conference action. Saturday's loss snaps USU's six-game win streak in the series, and the Aggies still hold a 28-9 all-time record against the Broncos, and is BSU's first win in series since Feb. 14, 2009. USU is now 17-0 at home, 8-8 on the road and 3-1 on neutral courts. Overall, the Aggies have won 22 of the last 28 games in the series. USU head coach Stew Morrill is now 18-5 against Boise State while at USU and 24-11 all-time against the Broncos.
The Aggies were down 12 points late in the first half, but bounced back and clawed away at the deficit, taking a 74-70 lead with 1:23 to play after senior guard Preston Medlin hit his third three-pointer in as many attempts in the final three minutes. However, BSU's Derrick Marks capped his stretch of 11-straight points with a free throw then back-to-back buckets, the latter with 24 seconds left on a layup that went around and around the rim before rolling through, that came after blocking a shot at the Aggies' hoop, giving the Broncos a 75-74 lead. USU had a chance for the go-ahead basket with four seconds left, but senior center Jarred Shaw's jumper from the middle of the key rolled off the rim and BSU secured the win with three free throws in the waning seconds.
The loss offset Shaw tying a season-high 24 points, including a stretch of 12 of USU's points in a row overlapping the end of the first half and the start of the second half. Medlin netted 14 of his 16 points in the second half, hitting four three-pointers. Fellow guard/forward Spencer Butterfield tallied 10 points, and sophomore Kyle Davis logged nine points to go with his team-high eight rebounds.
BSU had four players in double-digits, led by Marks with 19, posting 16 in the second half, including his stretch of 11 points in a row. Nick Duncan tallied 17 points off the bench, hitting five three-pointers, while Ryan Watkins logged a double-dobule with 16 rebounds and 15 points, and Anthony Drmic added 10 points.
USU shot 51.9 percent (28-of-54) from the field, which is its eighth game making at least half of its field goals, but was the first loss when doing so, as the Aggies are now 7-1 when shooting at least 50 percent from the field. The Aggies were also 50.0 percent (9-of-18) three-point shooting, which was the sixth game making at least half of their three-pointers and was the first loss doing so, as USU is now 5-1 when making at least 50 percent behind the arc. Utah State was also 75.0 percent (9-of-12) at the free throw line.
BSU made 43.9 percent (25-of-57) of its field goals, including 10-of-28 (35.7 percent) behind the arc and 78.3 percent (18-of-23) at the charity stripe.
The Broncos took an 18-10 lead after a Duncan three-pointer at the 11:55 mark of the first half. After USU closed to 22-19 on a Butterfield trey with 8:07 to go, BSU went on a 12-2 run to take a 34-22 lead with 3:38 left in the half on a trey by Thomas Bropleh. However, that would be the home team's last points of the half, as the Aggies closed out the half with 9-0 run, with eight points by Shaw during the streak, to close to 34-31 at intermission.
The second half started just like the first ended with consecutive baskets by Shaw and USU had its first lead since 4-3 in the early going, at 35-34 just 1:31 into the second stanza. The Broncos countered with a 16-4 run, taking a 50-39 lead with 14:07 to go after another Duncan trey. USU was later down 61-53 with 7:14 left, but went on an 10-1 streak, starting by a pair of Butterfield free throws, then back-to-back three-pointers junior forward Ben Clifford and senior guard TeNale Roland and Shaw capped the streak with a jumper for a 63-62 lead with 5:01 left. The Aggie streak reached 18-5 after two Medlin treys and a Shaw layup put USU ahead, 71-66 with 2:54 to play, setting up the final drama for Boise's win.
The Aggies continue on the road on Wednesday, Jan. 22, in Las Vegas, Nev., 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.
The NCAA has launched the NCAA 6th Fan contest, an exciting nationwide online competition that will determine which Division I school has the most school pride and supportive fans. Utah State fans can learn all the details at www.ncaa.com/6thfan, including how to win great fan prizes and how to help Utah State be awarded over $100,000 in general scholarship contributions.
Utah State fans can vote at www.ncaa.com/6thFan by casting votes directly, or votes can be submitted through ncaa.com to Facebook and Twitter. Fans also can vote directly on Twitter by Tweeting or Retweeting the #6thFan hashtag and Utah State's hashtag: #UTST.
USU men's basketball single-game, multi-game and season tickets are on sale. All single-game tickets are now 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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