USU Men Grounded By Gauchos Of UC Santa Barbara, 72-64, Saturday
Feb. 18, 2012
LOGAN, Utah - UC Santa Barbara made 53 percent of its field goals and three-pointers on the way to a 72-64 win against Utah State in men's basketball ESPNU BracketBusters action at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum Saturday night.
USU evened its record at 14-14 with the non-conference loss, suffering defeat in four of its last six games. Saturday was also USU's fourth home loss this season, marking the first four-home loss season since 1994-95. The Aggies fell to 5-2 in BracketBusters games.
UCSB improved to 15-8 overall, winning its 10th game in last 12 outings. The Gauchos win Saturday snapped the Aggies' six-game winning streak in the series, cutting USU's series lead to 39-24, including 22-7 at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, as Saturday's win was UCSB's first in the arena since 1999.
Sophomore guard Preston Medlin led three Aggies in double-digit scoring with 14 points, and tied his career-high by dishing out a game-high eight assists. Senior guard Brockeith Pane netted all 13 of his points in the second half and junior forward Kyisean Reed tallied 10 points. Freshman forward Jordan Stone led USU on the glass with a career-best eight rebounds, as the Aggies had a slim, 31-30 rebounding edge.
James Nunnally led UCSB with a double-double, netting 24 points to go with a game-best 11 rebounds, while Orlando Johnson added 22 points. Johnson hit four three-pointers while Nunnally drained three triples, as the Gauchos made 8-of-15 (53.3 percent) of their three's.
UCSB shot 53.2 percent (25-of-47) from the field and were also 14-of-21 (66.7 percent) at the free throw line. USU hit a paltry 26.1 percent (6-of-23) field goal shooting in the first half, but made 53.6 percent (15-of-28) in the second stanza, finishing the night at 41.2 percent (21-of-51) from the floor. The Aggies were 5-of-20 (25.0 percent) from three-point range and 17-of-25 (68.0 percent) at the charity stripe.
Utah State opened a 14-9 lead at 10:58 of the first half after a three-pointer by sophomore forward Mitch Bruneel, one of his two treys on the night, but UCSB stormed back and later opened up 30-23 lead with four seconds remaining. USU nearly pulled within four points at the break, but sophomore guard E.J. Farris' three-pointer at the half was a split second too late and waved off by the officials, making the halftime score remain, 30-23.
The Gauchos stretched their lead to 51-35 at the 11:18 mark after a three-pointer from the left wing by Kyle Boswell. The Aggies rallied with 9-0 run which became a 17-5 spurt to cut the gap to 56-52 after a three-point play by Pane with 6:14 to go. That would be the closest USU would get as the Gauchos reeled off nine unanswered to open a 65-52 lead after a three-point play by Johnson, and the Aggies couldn't trim the margin to single digits until the final minute, before Bruneel hit a three from the left corner with 21 seconds remaining for the final score.
Utah State resumes Western Athletic Conference action on Friday, Feb. 24, hosting Idaho on Senior Night in a 7 p.m. tip, which will be televised throughout the state of Utah on KMYU-TV, which can be found throughout the state on Comcast Ch.22 as well as on the Dish Network (Ch. 12) and DirecTV (Ch. 12). KMYU is also available over-the-air on 2.2. KMYU-TV, which is owned by Sinclair Broadcasting Group, also owns Salt Lake City's CBS affiliate KUTV.
The Aggies then close out regular-season play at San Jose State on Thursday, March 1 and at Hawai'i on Saturday, March 3.
To purchase Aggie basketball tickets, fans can contact the USU Ticket Office at 1-888-USTATE-1 or 435-797-0305, in person at the USU Ticket Office inside the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, or on-line 24 hours a day at www.utahstateaggies.com by clicking on the "tickets" button.
Fans can follow the Aggie basketball program at twitter.com/Aggiehoops or on the USU men's basketball blog at usubasketball.blogspot.com. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program at twitter.com/USUAthletics or on facebook at Utah State University Athletics.