USU Men's Basketball Falls To Fresno State, 79-76, Saturday
Feb. 22, 2014
LOGAN, Utah - Utah State men's basketball rallied from down as much as 16 points in the first half and took the lead early in the second half, but couldn't hold onto it, falling to Fresno State, 79-76, Saturday at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
After being down, 34-18, at the 6:45 mark, USU closed out the first frame with a 10-5 spurt to close to 39-33 at halftime. The Aggies continued the run with a 12-5 spurt to open the second half, for a total streak of 27-10 and taking the lead at 45-44 with 15:52 to play. However, the Bulldogs countered and pulled away, opening up a six-point lead before USU cut it to two with 4:32 to go, but couldn't get any closer.
With the loss, USU is now 15-12 overall and 5-10 in Mountain West play, while Fresno State leveled its overall ledger at 14-14 and is 7-8 in MW action, winning six of its last seven, including three of its last four on the road. Saturday was the 52nd overall meeting between the Aggies and Bulldogs, the 15th-oldest rivalry in USU history, and Fresno State has now won the last two match-ups in the series, cutting Utah State's overall series lead to 31-21, including 21-6 in Logan. Prior to Saturday, Fresno State had not scored more than 60 points against Utah State in the last six meetings, as the Bulldog's 79 points score Saturday were their most scored against USU since 2007, a span of 13 games in the series.
Four Aggies posted double-digit points, led by senior center Jarred Shaw's 18 points, while sophomore forward Kyle Davis logged his sixth double-double of the season with a career-high tying and game-best 15 rebounds to go with 14 points. Senior guard TeNale Roland netted 12 points and senior guard/forward Spencer Butterfield added 10 points. Freshman guard JoJo McGlaston netted a new career-high eight points.
Both Roland and Butterfield dished out six assists apiece to share game-high honors, for a new season-high for Butterfield and Roland's seventh game with four or more helpers this season. McGlaston logged a new season-high three helpers. Shaw added seven rebounds and had a game-high three blocks, while Davis added two rejections.
Fresno State had three players in double-figure scoring, led by Tyler Johnson's double-double with 21 points and 10 rebounds, while Paul Watson netted 20 points. Marville Harris added 15 points. Both Johnson and Watson netted four three-pointers apiece, while Harris drained a pair of treys. Johnson and Harris, along with Cezar Guerrero and Allen Huddleston all distributed four assists each, while Guerrero swiped a game-high two steals.
The Aggies netted 50.8 percent (30-of-59) of their field goals, marking the 11th time this year that they have shot at least 50 percent from the floor. USU was also 28.6 percent (6-of-21) behind the three-point arc and was 66.7 percent (10-of-15) at the free throw line.
The visiting Bulldogs shot 29-of-66 (43.9 percent) from the field, netting 11-of-23 (47.8 percent) from distance and a perfect 10-of-10 at the free throw line.
Utah State scored the game's first four points while keeping Fresno State off the scoreboard for nearly the game's first two minutes. Junior center Jordan Stone later hit a layup for a 10-7 Aggie advantage with 15:02 on the first-half clock. After the Bulldogs scored the next six points for a 13-10 lead, Davis had a dunk to pull USU within, 13-12, but then Fresno State reeled off 10 unanswered points for a 23-12 lead, capped by a Johnson three-pointer at the 11:25 mark. Watson later gave the visitors their largest lead of the night at 34-18 with a trey at the 6:45 point of the first half.
Senior guard Preston Medlin hit a pair of free throws to start USU's 10-5 streak to close the half, as a trey by Butterfield with 48 seconds left and a jumper from Shaw sandwiched a triple by Harris for FS with 30 seconds to go, as Shaw hit his jumper with two ticks to play, making the halftime scoreboard read, 39-33.
USU continued climbing back to start the second stanza, pulling within 39-38 just 1:45 into action after a Davis bucket, and Roland completed the comeback and capped the 27-10 run with a layup with 15:52 to go for a 45-44 Aggie advantage. Harris and Roland traded baskets and the lead for their respective teams, keeping USU on top at 47-46. That would be the home team's last lead of the night, as Fresno State scored 10 of the game's next 14 points for a 56-51 lead after a Huddleston layup.
The Aggies kept the Bulldogs in their sights, but couldn't get any closer than two points, the last at 4:32 after a pair of Davis free pitches. Down 77-71, Butterfield hit a trey from the right wing with 18.3 seconds left to draw the Aggies within 77-74 but the Bulldogs ran out the clock, with Harris draining a pair of free throws with 10.6 ticks and Roland hit a putback bucket with 1.4 to play, closing to 79-76. On the ensuing inbounds play, there was a scramble for the ball and it was knocked out of bounds. After a lengthy review by the officials, they ruled the ball in Fresno State's favor with 0.4 seconds and the Bulldogs inbounded the ball to run out the clock.
USU plays its final two road games next week, playing at New Mexico on Tuesday, Feb. 25 at 7 p.m. (MT) in a game nationally televised on CBS Sports Network and then at San José State on Saturday, March 1 at 6 p.m. (MT), in another nationally televised game, on ROOT Sports. The Aggies then return home to host Wyoming on Wednesday, March 5 at 8 p.m. in USU's regular-season and home finale. The Aggies will be honoring their five seniors: Spencer Butterfield, Sean Harris, Preston Medlin, TeNale Roland and Jarred Shaw.
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.
Utah State's Big Blue Scholarship Fund's Aggie Basketball Coaches Luncheon in Salt Lake City has been moved from Monday, March 3 to Friday, March 7. The luncheon, featuring USU head coach Stew Morrill, will begin at Noon and end at 1 p.m.
This is the final luncheon in Salt Lake City this season. The luncheon will be held at the Hampton Inn Downtown (425 S 300 W). Cost for the Wasatch Front Luncheon is $15 for Big Blue Scholarship Fund members and $18 for non-members.
For more information contact the Big Blue Scholarship Fund at (435) 797-2583.
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.