Feb. 5, 2014
LOGAN, Utah - Double-doubles from Spencer Butterfield and Jarred Shaw were part of four players in double-digits to lead Utah State men's basketball to an 83-75 win over Nevada Wednesday night in Mountain West action at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, as the Aggies halted a five-game losing streak.
USU improved to 13-9 overall and 3-7 in MW play, opening the second half of league play with a victory. Nevada had its two-game win streak snapped in sliding to 12-11 overall and 7-3 in MW action. The Aggies also ended a three-game losing skein to the Wolf Pack in the all-time series, which USU now leads, 32-16, including 17-3 in Logan, as the Aggies have won 10 of the last 15 games in the series, including six of the last seven in Logan.
Senior guard/forward Butterfield netted 20 points to go with 11 rebounds while senior center Shaw logged 17 points and a game-high and season-best tying 13 rebounds. Senior guard Preston Medlin tallied 14 points, all in the second half, and dished out a game-high seven assists, while sophomore forward Kyle Davis added 12 points, including a season-high 10-of-12 effort at the free throw line.
Overall, Medlin now has 1,256 points in his career to move ahead of Rich Haws (1,255) and into 20th-place all-time at USU in scoring. Medlin was also 3-of-7 from three-point range giving him 196 career made treys moving him ahead of Tyler Newbold (194) and into fifth-place all-time at USU.
Butterfield scored in double-figures for the 17th time this year and 36th time in his career with his 20 points. Overall, it was his third 20-point game this year and sixth of his career. It was third double-double this season and 10th of his career. Butterfield now has three double-figure rebounding games this year and 10 in his career.
Shaw also tied his season-high with 13 rebounds giving him four double-doubles this year and 13 in his career. Shaw also had three blocked shots in the game giving him 54 career blocked shots to rank 13th all-time in school history as he moved ahead of Eric Franson (52) and Donnie Johnson (53).
Nevada was led by Deonte Burton with game-best 23 points, swiping three steals. Burton came into Wednesday's game leading the MW and ranking 16th in the NCAA in scoring at 21.0 ppg. Cole Huff tallied 21 points to go with a team-leading seven rebounds. Michael Perez added 12 points, while AJ West had four blocks to go with six points, four rebounds and two steals.
USU had a 40-30 rebounding advantage, as the Aggies' 40 total rebounds are their most in the last seven games, and the 10 rebound margin was their largest in the last four games. The Aggies pulled away from a 28-27 halftime lead by scoring 55 points in the second half, which are their second-most in a half this season trailing the 56 second-half points it scored against San José State on Jan. 4. USU's 28-27 intermission lead was its first halftime lead in the last six games, but the Aggies improved to 12-1 on the season when leading at the half.
Butterfield and Shaw's double-doubles marked the first time since Dec. 28 against San Diego Christian that two USU players posted double-doubles in the same game, when Butterfield and Davis both recorded double-doubles.
Nevada scored the game's first five points, and had a 7-2 lead at the 16:12 mark after a pair of free throws by Huff, as USU missed four of its first five shots and had two turnovers during that span. The Aggies tied the game for the first time at 9-9 after a free throw by freshman forward Jalen Moore. The score didn't remain level for long, as Nevada went on a 12-4 run capped by a Burton layup at 6:11 for a 21-13 Wolf Pack lead. After Huff put the visitors on top 23-17 at the 5:02 mark, the Aggies closed out the half with an 11-4 streak, starting with a Shaw jumper and capped by two free throws from Davis with three seconds left to take a 28-27 lead into intermission.
The Aggies stormed out of the second-half gates, with Medlin netting a trey just eight seconds into action from the right side, and after a Nevada miss on the other end, Roland drained a trey from the left wing on USU's next possession for a 34-27 lead with only 37 seconds run off the second-half clock. Nevada pulled within 35-34 at the 17:17 mark after a three-point play by Huff, but that would be the closest the Wolf Pack would get. The home team took a 54-52 lead into the under-eight minute media timeout at 7:39, and when play resumed, reeled off a 10-1 streak, staring by another Medlin triple and capped by a Shaw jumper with 5:22 to go for a 64-53 lead. The Wolf Pack clawed the gap to 76-70 with a minute to play, but the Aggies were able to break the full-court press for a Shaw dunk and hung on for the victory.
USU plays its second home game in a row and fourth in a five-game span, hosting Boise State on Saturday, Jan. 8 in a 4 p.m. tip-off in a nationally televised contest on CBS Sports Network.
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.
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