Feb. 18, 2009
LOGAN, Utah - Utah State, ranked No. 23 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Poll, got scoring from nine different players and closed out the first half with a 16-0 streak to beat Cal State Bakersfield, 78-57, Wednesday night in a non-conference basketball game at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
Junior guard Stavon Williams hit three-straight three-pointers as part of his 11 points during the spurt, as he finished the night with 13 points, while sophomore forward Tai Wesley tossed in 11 points. Senior forward Gary Wilkinson added nine points to go with a career-high five assists and a game-high 10 rebounds as Utah State improved to 25-2 overall, and now have the most wins of any team in the country. The Aggies also have the second-best record in the country behind No. 2 Oklahoma (25-1).
Wednesday night was USU's 32nd-straight home victory to set a new school record. It is also the second-longest streak in the nation behind the 37 in a row by Kansas. It was also the Aggies' 38th consecutive home non-conference win as well as their 62nd non-conference regular-season home win in a row.
Cal State Bakersfield lost its fifth in a row and eighth in its last nine, falling to 6-20 overall.
USU is now 4-0 all-time vs. CSUB, winning the last two meetings by an average of 83-61.
The Roadrunners were led by Trent Blakley's game-high 14 points while Alex Johnson netted 13 points, each hitting three three-pointers as CSUB made its first five treys in the game, finishing the night 8-of-16 (50.0 percent).
The two teams traded taking the lead for the first 14 minutes of the game as CSUB had its last lead of the night at 26-25 with 6:19 to go on a layup by Santwon Latunde, but then Williams and the Aggies took over. A tip-in from sophomore guard Tyler Newbold gave USU a 27-26 lead before Williams went on his scoring streak and the Aggies suddenly had a 41-26 lead at halftime and never looked back.
CSUB trimmed the gap to 11 on multiple occasions within the first few minutes of the second stanza but couldn't get any closer and USU opened up a 21-point lead at 61-40 with 11:50 to go on a Newbold triple. The Aggies' lead grew to its largest of the night at 23 on a three-point play from freshman forward Brady Jardine at the 8:31 mark to give USU a 67-44 lead. The Roadrunners trimmed the gap to 12 with a 13-2 run to make the score 69-57, but the Aggies closed out the game with nine unanswered points for the win.
USU's bench out-scored its counterparts 20-2 in the first half, finishing the night at 35-13, as nine different Aggies scored, all with seven points or more.
For the night, Utah State shot 51.9 percent (28-of-54) from the floor, hitting 11-of-20 (55.0 percent) behind the three-point line, as well as 11-of-14 (78.6 percent) from the free throw line. Cal State Bakersfield hit 18-of-48 (37.5 percent) field goal shooting and 13-of-18 (72.2 percent) at the free pitch stripe.
The Aggies dominated the glass to the tune of 40-21, including 14 on the offense boards.
In addition to Wilkinson's career-high five helpers, Newbold dished out seven assists, one shy of his career-best, while junior guard Jared Quayle distributed four and Wesley three assists, part of USU's 22 helpers.
Utah State will play at Saint Mary's on Saturday, Feb. 21 in the ESPNU BracketBuster game. The battle between the Aggies and the Gaels tips off at 3 p.m. (MT) on ESPN2.
USU resumes Western Athletic Conference and home action on Thursday, Feb. 26, hosting Hawai'i.
Aggie basketball tickets are available online 24 hours a day at www.UtahStateAggies.com and clicking on "tickets" in left column, or by phone by calling 1-888-USTATE-1 or (435) 797-0305.
Utah State basketball games are broadcast on KVNU (610 AM) and KLZX (95.9 FM) in Logan, Utah, KFAN (1320 AM) or ESPN Radio (1230 AM) in Salt Lake City and KLZX (105.3 FM) in Montpelier, Idaho, as well as on the internet at www.UtahStateAggies.com. Al Lewis serves as the play-by-play announcer, while Rod Tueller serves as the analyst during home games.
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