Feb. 24, 2005
LOGAN, Utah - Spencer Nelson recorded a game-high 16 points and a game-best 11 rebounds to lead Utah State to a 68-52 win in Big West basketball action here Thursday night. The Aggies improved to 20-7, recording their sixth straight 20-win season. USU also improved to 11-5 in league play.
Nelson hit six of nine shots from the field en route to his eighth double-double of the season. His 11 rebounds were just two shy of his season best of 13. In addition, he added four assists and three steals in 32 minutes of play.
Long Beach State, which fell to 7-19 overall and 4-11 in the Big West, was led by Kevin Houston and Cody Pearson, who had 12 and 10 points respectively.
Utah State jumped out to a quick 13-2 lead but saw the visitors cut the margin to 20-17 with 6:46 left in the first half. USU then pushed its lead to 10 at the half as Nelson scored five straight points for the Aggies.
USU dominated the second half and led by as many as 27 points at 64-37. On the night, USU, which leads the country in field goal percentage at 53.8 percent, hit 51.8 percent, including a 55.6 percent mark in the second half. LBSU, which shot just 37 percent in the first half, finished the game at 46.8 percent after shooting 60 percent in the second half.
The Aggies committed a season-low seven turnovers and were credited with 20 assists on their 29 baskets. USU, which also recorded nine steals on the night, connected on just two of 15 from three point range and made just eight of 19 free throws. However, the Aggies out-rebounded LBSU 31-25 and grabbed 11 offensive rebounds.
Point guard David Pak handed out seven assists, just one shy of his season best. He was the only starter not to reach double-figure scoring as he was 0-of-four from the field and 0-of-two from the free throw line while not scoring. The USU bench contributed just 10 points combined.
The Aggies will host UC Irvine in its second-to-last regular season game on Saturday at 7:05 p.m., while Long Beach State will travel to Idaho. The Aggies will close the regular season hosting Idaho on Friday, March 4 before heading to the Big West Tournament in Anaheim, Calif. scheduled for March 9-12.
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