Jan. 24, 2013
LOGAN, Utah - Junior guard/forward Spencer Butterfield scored a career-high 23 points and added a career-best 11 rebounds for his first-ever double-double, but a short-handed Utah State men's basketball team that had just nine available players and played without three starters lost at home to UT Arlington, 74-68, at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum Thursday.
Utah State, who falls to 14-4 and 5-3 in Western Athletic Conference play with the loss, had its nine-game home winning streak snapped and has now lost three-straight games for the first time since February of 2008.
UT Arlington improved to 9-8 overall and 4-4 in WAC play with the win, and upped its road record to 7-2 on the season.
Karol Gruszecki led five UT Arlington players in double-figures with 14 points off the bench as the Maverick reserves out-scored USU's limited bench, 25-6. Cameron Catlett and Brandon Edwards each scored 13 points for UTA.
Sophomore forward Ben Clifford also had a career-night for Utah State as he had 12 points, nine rebounds and four blocked shots, tying his career-high in each category. Junior guard/forward Marvin Jean scored in double-figures for the second-straight game with 11 points and added a career-high four assists, while also blocking a career-best three shots. Junior center Jarred Shaw scored nine points, freshman guard Marcel Davis had seven points and sophomore center Jordan Stone scored a season-high six points for USU.
Utah State finished the game shooting just 36.4 percent from the field (20-of-55), including just 32.1 percent in the second-half (9-28). USU also shot 38.5 percent from three-point range (10-of-526) and 66.7 percent at the free throw line (18-of-27) for the game. UT Arlington shot 40.0 percent overall (22-of-55), including 47.8 percent in the final 20 minutes (11-of-523). UTA also made 35.7 percent of its three-pointers (5-of-14) and 73.5 percent of its free throws (25-of-34). USU did out-rebound UTA by five (41-36), including by five on the offensive end (17-12), but the Aggies also had seven more turnovers (17-10).
Utah State scored the first four points of the game on baskets by Shaw and Davis and held a pair of six-point leads early on at 14-8 and 16-10 before UT Arlington went on a 15-2 run over the next 3:40 to take its largest lead of the half at 25-18 with 6:57 to play. USU answered with an 8-1 run to knot the score at 26-all with 4:03 to play following a Butterfield three-pointer and went into the locker room tied at 33 following a pair of Shaw free throws with seven seconds left to play in the half.
Butterfield had 11 points and seven rebounds for Utah State at intermission as the Aggies shot 40.7 percent from the field (11-of-27), 36.4 percent from three-point range (4-of-11) and 77.8 percent at the free throw line (7-of-9). UT Arlington shot just 34.4 percent from the field (11-of-32) in the first 20 minutes, including 40.0 percent from behind the arc (4-of-10) and 77.8 percent at the charity stripe (7-of-9) as Gruszecki led the Mavericks with 12 points on 4-of-5 shooting from three. USU dominated the glass in the first half and out-rebounded UTA by 13 (26-13), but the Aggies also had nine more turnovers (12-3).
Both teams exchanged baskets on each of their first three possessions of the second-half, culminating in a Clifford three at the 17:35 mark to give Utah State a 41-40 advantage. From there, UT Arlington scored the next five points and never trailed again. USU did tie the score one final time at 48-all at the 10:53 mark after a Butterfield trey, but UTA scored six unanswered points to regain the momentum. The Aggies fought back to within three with 5:02 to play on two free throws from Davis and trailed by just four with 0:58 remaining after a Stone layup, but couldn't get any closer as the Mavericks made 8-of-10 free throws in the final 2:16 to preserve the win.
Utah State will remain home and host league leading Louisiana Tech (17-3, 8-0) on Saturday, Jan. 26 at 7 p.m. The game will be televised regionally on KMYU TV (Comcast Ch. 22; Dish Network Ch. 12; DirecTV Ch. 12; Over-the-Air 2.2 in Cache Valley).
For USU 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 or on facebook at Utah State University Athletics.
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