Jan. 26, 2014
LOGAN, Utah - Utah State men's basketball's upset bid of seventh-ranked San Diego State came up short Saturday night, falling, 74-69, in overtime at a raucous Dee Glen Smith Spectrum fully decked out in white.
Senior guard/forward Spencer Butterfield drained a three-pointer from the right wing with two seconds left in regulation to send the game to OT knotted at 57. However SDSU out-scored USU, 17-12, in the extra session, hitting 8-of-10 at the free throw line and 4-of-5 field goals to pull away for the win.
The Aggies had their seven-game home winning streak snapped and are now 10-2 at home on the season, falling to 12-7 overall and 2-5 in Mountain West action. San Diego State won its 17th in a row in improving to 18-1 overall and 7-0 in league play. Saturday was the first meeting between the Aggies and Aztecs since 1998 and the first time in Logan since the 1962-63 season, and was USU's first loss to SDSU in the series, which Utah State now leads, 3-1.
Butterfield tallied 19 points and eighth rebounds, leading the Aggies in both categories, hitting three three-pointers on the night. Freshman forward Jalen Moore netted a career-high 16 points and played a career-high 38 minutes in making his third start, including second in a row in place of injured sophomore forward Kyle Davis. Senior guard Preston Medlin added 12 points, with all his points coming on four three-pointers. Medlin now has 1,218 points in his career to move ahead of Jay Goodman (1,215) and rank 23rd all-time at USU in scoring.
Senior guard TeNale Roland dished out a career-high nine assists, as USU had 21 helpers on the night. Moore and senior center Jarred Shaw snared seven rebounds apiece, while junior center Jordan Stone snared five board, pacing the Aggies to a 36-33 rebounding advantage, their first rebounding edge in the last four games.
SDSU was led by 31 points by Xavier Thames, including 23 after halftime with 13 in the second half and 10 in overtime. Winston Shepard added 10 points and six rebounds, while Josh Davis pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds.
The Aggies shot 29-of-55 (52.7 percent) from the field, marking the ninth time this year they've shot at least 50 percent from the field. USU was also 9-of-18 (50.0 percent) behind the three-point arc, record the seventh time this year it has made at least half its shots from three-point range. Utah State was a season-low 28.6 percent (2-of-7) at the free throw line, as its two made free throws are a season-low, while its seven free throw attempts are its second-fewest in a game this year.
SDSU made 41.7 percent (25-of-60) of its field goals, including 26.7 percent (4-of-15) from distance. The Aggies shot 69.0 percent (20-of-29) at the free throw line, the second-most free throw attempts by an Aggie opponent this season, as USU was whistled for a season-high 25 fouls Saturday night, compared to 14 on SDSU.
The game had 16 lead changes and eight ties. USU took its largest lead of the first half at 8-5 with 14:11 to go after Shaw hit 1-of-2 free throws. After junior forward Ben Clifford later gave the Aggies a 15-14 lead at the 9:31 mark, USU didn't make a field goal until Moore hit a bucket with 3:12 to go, to snap a 10-1 run by the Aztecs. Two free throws by Thames put SDSU ahead 26-18, but USU closed out the half on a 6-2 spurt, with four points coming from Stone off a dunk and a layup and capped by a Butterfield jumper with 59 seconds remaining in the half, pulling the home team within 28-24 at intermission.
Butterfield started the second stanza just like he ended the first, with a jumper just 34 seconds into action. Medlin later hit back-to-back three-pointers to give USU a 42-40 lead at the 12:59 mark, its first lead since 15-14. Moore later made a layup for a 52-48 Aggie advantage at the 7:47 mark, and was fouled but missed the ensuing free throw. Both teams went cold and didn't score until 4:13 was on the clock on two free throws by SDSU's Aqeel Quinn, and the visitors regained the lead at 53-52 following Thames hitting 1-of-2 at the free pitch stripe. Moore ended USU's scoring drought with a layup with 2:18 to go, giving the Aggies a 54-53 advantage. Davis hit a layup at the 1:55 mark and Thames later hit two free throws with 16 seconds left to put the Aztecs ahead, 57-54.
After a timeout, USU tried to get a shot off, before Butterfield drained the trey from the right wing, just in front of the Aggie bench and drained the trey. SDSU took a timeout and drew up an in-bounds play with a long, arching pass to Thames, who got a shot off ahead of the buzzer, but it bounced off the rim, sending the game to OT.
USU had a short-lived lead at 62-61 at the 3:05 mark of overtime, but SDSU scored seven unanswered to open a 68-62 lead and hung on for the win and denying the Aggies of the upset.
The seventh-ranked Aztecs were the first ranked opponent to visit the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum since 10th-ranked Nevada on March 1, 2007, that USU upset, 79-77 in OT. SDSU was also the Aggies' highest ranked opponent since facing No. 6 Kansas on March 20, 2003 in the NCAA Tournament, falling 64-61, and was the highest ranked opponent to visit the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum since No. 4 Utah on Nov. 26, 1996, won by Utah, 61-40.
The Aggies continue their two-game homestand on Tuesday, Jan. 28, hosting New Mexico. Tip-off is slated for 9 p.m. (MT) and will be nationally televised on ESPNU.
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.
Utah State has also been nominated as one of the top college basketball student sections in the country and is now asking for fan support in helping it win the prestigious title. Aggie fans can have a say in determining the most deserving student section by voting for the Naismith Student Section of the Year Award daily via social media platforms.
There are three ways fans can vote. There is a direct link to a poll at www.mystudentsectionrocks.com. Fans can also go on facebook at www.facebook.com/collegecolors or vote on twitter using the hashtag: #RockUSUColors.
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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