Utah State Men's Basketball Topped By Sixth-Ranked Aztecs, 60-45, Tuesday
Feb. 18, 2014
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Utah State men's basketball was beaten by No. 6/7 San Diego State, 60-45, Tuesday night at a sold-out SDSU Viejas Arena at Aztec Bowl.
USU slides to 15-11 overall and 5-9 in Mountain West action, while SDSU, who entered the game ranked sixth in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll and seventh in the USA Today/Coaches Top 25, improved to 23-2 overall and 12-1 in MW play.
Tuesday was the Aggies' second-straight loss in the series to the Aztecs, trimming USU's lead to 3-2 all-time, as the Aggies were making their first visit to SDSU since Nov. 24, 1998, which was the fourth game of USU head coach Stew Morrill's first season at the helm of the Aggie program. Now in his 16th season, Morrill remains at 599 career wins, seeking to become the 14th active Division I head coach with 600 career wins.
The Aggie senior duo of guard/forward Spencer Butterfield and center Jarred Shaw netted 10 points apiece to lead USU. Freshman guard Viko Noma'aea tallied a new career-high with six points, netting a pair of three-pointers. Shaw pulled down a team-high seven rebounds, as the Aggies were narrowly edged on the boards, 33-32, Tuesday.
The Aztecs were led by Matt Shrigley's career-high 15 points, draining five three-pointers off the bench, while getting 12 points and eight rebounds from Josh Davis and Skylar Spencer scored 10 points.
USU shot 34.0 percent (17-of-50) from the field, including 38.5 percent (5-of-13) behind the three-point arc and 66.7 percent (6-of-9) at the free throw line. SDSU netted half of its shots (14-of-28) in the first half, opening up a 35-22 halftime lead. The Aztecs finished with 43.1 percent (25-of-58) field goal shooting, along with 38.5 percent (5-of-13) from distance and 55.6 percent (5-of-9) at the charity stripe.
Utah State took a short-lived, 5-4, lead at the 17:04 mark of the first half with a three-pointer. Medlin became the 16th USU player with 1,300 career points, entering the night at 1,299, finishing with five points in the game.
The Aztecs then reeled off a 12-0 run, started by a Spencer layup and capped by Shrigley's second trey of the game, for a 16-5 lead with 11:34 on the first-half clock. After USU pulled within 19-11 after a Shaw jumper with 9:51 to play, SDSU scored nine unanswered for a 28-11 advantage, before Butterfield snapped the streak with a three-pointer at the 7:08 mark to pull within, 28-14. Freshman forward Jalen Moore twice cut the gap to 13 points, first at 32-19 with a dunk at 2:20 and later with a three-point play with 41 ticks to go, to get within, 35-22, which remained the score heading into halftime.
The closest the visitors got in the second half was 41-28 after a pair of Medlin free throws with 13:25 left. The Aztecs led by as much as 25 at 60-35 with 3:28 to play and coasted to their 12th-straight home win.
The Aggies return home to host Fresno State on Saturday, Feb. 22 in a 7 p.m. (MT) tipoff at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
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.
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.