Jan. 30, 2010
LOGAN, Utah - Junior forward Nate Bendall's career-high 20 points and career-best tying 10 rebounds combined with sophomore forward Brady Jardine's career-high 17 points to lead Utah State to a 77-58 win over San Jose State Saturday night in Western Athletic Conference men's basketball action.
USU won its sixth-straight game in improving to 16-6 overall and 6-2 in WAC play, as the Aggies have now won 10 of their last 12 contests. Saturday was the opening of a seven out of 10 home game stretch for USU, which won its eighth-straight home game and 60 of its last 62, dating back to 2005-06.
SJSU is now 12-9 overall and has a 5-4 league ledger. The Spartans drop to 3-8 on the road this season.
Utah State beat San Jose State for the fourth-straight meeting, improving to 43-21 overall and 28-4 in Logan. The Aggies also improved to 107-27 against teams from the state of California over the last 11 years, including 61-6 at home.
Bendall registered his third double-double of the season, as he and Jardine were joined in double-figures by junior guard Pooh Williams with 14 points. Williams hit three three-pointers, helping USU make half of its shots behind the arc (9-of-18) on the night. The Aggies also topped the 50.0 percent shooting mark, netting 54.2 percent (32-of-59). USU only made five trips to the free throw line, making four and tying a season-low for attempts.
SJSU was led by Adrian Oliver's 19 points while Mac Peterson tallied 11 points.
The Spartans were limited to just 6-of-28 (21.4 percent) from the field in the second half as the Aggies out-scored them, 38-22, in the second stanza.
For the game, SJSU was 19-of-52 (36.5 percent) field goal shooting, hitting 7-of-23 (30.4 percent) from three-point range and 13-of-15 (86.7 percent) at the free pitch stripe.
Jardine's career-best 17 points off the bench led USU to a 25-10 bench scoring advantage and the Aggies had a dominating 42-18 edge in points in the paint. Bendall's career-best tying 10 rebounds paced Utah State to a 32-27 rebounding advantage, improving to 15-5 when out-rebounding the opposition. It was the 20th time in 22 games that USU had more rebounds then its opponent.
The Aggies dished out 20 assists while only committing seven turnovers, the sixth time this season that USU had a single-digit in the turnover column. SJSU had eight miscues. USU was led by junior forward Tai Wesley's five assists, while Williams and senior guard Jared Quayle distributed four each. SJSU's Justin Graham doled out a game-high six helpers.
The Utah State defense held its opponent under 60 points for the fourth straight game and the Aggies are now 10-1 on the season and 149-12 under head coach Stew Morrill when doing so.
Bendall and Wesley hit back-to-back buckets to open the scoring for USU and the Aggies later led 17-7 after a three-pointer by Williams at the 12:46 mark. The Spartans stormed back to force a 29-all tie at the 4:38 mark on a three-pointer by Peterson.
SJSU took its first lead of the night at 36-34 with 1:58 to go on a jumper by Graham before the Aggies scored the last five points of the half, on a Bendall layup and a Quayle three-pointer with nine ticks remaining gave USU a 39-36 halftime edge.
USU opened a 48-38 lead three and a half minutes into the second half, started by a three-pointer by junior guard Tyler Newbold and capped by a Bendall layup. The Aggie advantage grew to 17 at 65-48 after a Quayle three-pointer at the 6:55 mark.
The Spartans trimmed the gap to 13 twice, but couldn't get any closer as Jardine put an exclamation point on the night with a steal and slam dunk with 47 ticks left and had a layup 30 seconds later for USU's largest lead of the night at 77-56. Oliver hit a pair of free throws with 11 seconds to go for the final margin.
Utah State hosts Idaho on Wednesday, Feb. 3 at 9 p.m. in a nationally-televised game on ESPN2, before welcoming Nevada to the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum on Saturday, Feb. 6 in another nationally-televised game, this time on ESPNU in an 8 p.m. start.
For Utah State men's basketball ticket information, contact the USU Ticket Office at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, by phone by calling 1-888-USTATE-1 or (435) 797-0305, or online 24 hours a day at www.UtahStateAggies.com and clicking on the "buy/renew tickets" under the "tickets" drop down menu.
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