Aggie Men's Basketball Bucked By Cowboys, 74-57, Saturday
Feb. 1, 2014
LARAMIE, Wyo. - Utah State men's basketball was dealt a 74-57 loss to Wyoming Saturday evening at Arena-Auditorium.
The Cowboys pulled away from a 23-all tie with 5:11 to go in the first half, closing the first frame with a 12-5 spurt as part of a 23-8 stretch continuing in the first 2:36 of the second half to open a 46-31 lead, and the Aggies couldn't recover.
With the loss, USU is now 12-9 overall and ends the first half of Mountain West play 2-7 in Mountain West play, suffering its fifth-straight loss. Wyoming improved to 14-7 overall and 5-3 in MW action, winning five of its last six games.
Saturday was the first meeting between the Aggies and Cowboys since 2008 and the first match-up in Laramie since Dec. 3, 1997, but was the 68th overall meeting, tying for USU's seventh-most played rivalry in school history. USU and UW have split the last six meetings, with an alternating won-lost pattern. The Cowboys now lead the all-time series, 45-23, including 27-6 in Laramie, winning the last four meetings on UW's home court.
Medlin moved up to No. 21 on USU's career scoring list with 1,242 points, passing Max Perry (1959-61) with 1,236 points and Jim Boatwright (1972-74) with 1,238 points. Medlin needs 13 points to crack the top 20, as Rich Haws (1973-75) holds the No. 20 position with 1,255 points.
Butterfield and Medlin were the only two Aggies in double-figures, while freshman guard JoJo McGlaston logged a career-high seven points. Three USU players shared the rebounding lead, with Butterfield, sophomore forward Kyle Davis and freshman forward Jalen Moore all snaring five boards apiece, helping USU to a 32-26 rebounding advantage.
Wyoming had four players in double-digit points, led by Josh Adams with 19 points, before getting ejected in the second half after a flagrant two foul. Riley Grabau notched 15 points, followed by Larry Nance, Jr., with 13 and Derek Cooke, Jr., with 11. Cooke led the Cowboys with eight boards, while Nance notched five, to go with a game-high two blocks.
USU was 10-of-25 (40.4 percent) from the field, netting 7-of-18 (38.9 percent) from three-point range, as well as 8-of-13 (61.5 percent) at the free throw line. UW made 53.3 percent (24-of-45) of its field goals, including 57.1 percent (8-of-14) behind the arc, along with 85.7 percent (18-of-21) at the charity stripe. All three of the Cowboys' percentages were season-highs for a Aggie opponent.
The Cowboys bucked out of the gates like a rodeo bronc, opening up a 12-2 lead at the 15:42 mark after an Adams jumper. However, the Aggies stampeded back with a 15-5 run, getting three-pointers from junior forward Ben Clifford and McGlaston during the spurt before Moore capped the streak with a jumper at the 7:30 mark to knot it up at 17-all. After Wyoming took a 21-18 lead, Butterfield drained a trey to tied it at 21-21 with 5:58 on the first half clock. Adams and Medlin traded buckets to level the scoring ledger at 23's with 5:11 left. A pair of Nance free pitch shots started Wyoming's 12-5 spurt to close the half, as the Cowboys took a 35-28 lead into intermission.
Wyoming's lead grew to 46-31 with 17:24 to play in the game, capping the Cowboys' 23-8 run from the 23-all tie. Utah State closed the deficit to 49-39 with 13:32 left after a layup then a dunk by junior forward Danny Berger. However, that would be the closest the visitors would get as the Cowboys pulled away, bucking their lead up to 65-44 with 6:28 to go. With 5:37 remaining, Butterfield and Adams got tangled up, and after the altercation, Butterfield was called for a foul and Adams getting ejected after being assessed a flagrant two foul. Grabau hit one free throw for the Butterfield foul, then Butterfield netted a pair of charity stripe shots for a 67-49 deficit. Medlin drained a trey with 4:53 to go to pull USU within, 67-52, but couldn't get any closer, as UW pulled away for the 74-57 win.
USU returns to the friendly confines of the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum to open the second half of Mountain West action, with its second two-game homestand in a span of five games, opening with hosting Nevada on Wednesday, Feb. 5 at 7 p.m. The Aggies then host Boise State on Saturday, Nov. 8 in a 4 p.m. tip-off.
For Utah State 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.
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.
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.