USU Uses Balanced Offensive Attack To Defeat Fresno State 87-77 In Men's Basketball Action Here Thursday
March 2, 2006
LOGAN, Utah - Five Utah State players scored in double figures as the Aggies won their 20th game of the season defeating Fresno State 87-77 in men's basketball action here Thursday night.
USU reached the 20-win plateau for the seventh straight season and is 20-7 overall and 10-5 in Western Athletic Conference play. Fresno State fell to 15-12 and 8-7 in the league.
Jaycee Carroll and Nate Harris each scored 18 points for USU, while David Pak added 15, Cass Matheus 12 and Durrall Peterson 11 in the win. Fresno State had four players reach double digits, paced by Quinton Hosley, who scored 18.
Harris recorded his sixth double-double of the year while also pulling down 10 rebounds, while Matheus registered his third double-double with an identical 10 rebounds.
Pak's 15 points were the third most in his career, while his seven assists were the second most he has had this season. In the previous meeting at Fresno State, the senior point guard registered a career-best 22 points and a career-high 12 assists.
USU used a balanced offensive attack all night as the Aggies had five double-digit scorers for the third time this season. USU's starting guard combination of Carroll and Pak scored the first 10 points of the game and then USU's two post players, Harris and Matheus, scored the first 13 points of the second half as the Aggies scored from both inside and outside.
USU jumped out to a 20-8 advantage to start the game as Pak scored 10 points to begin the game. Fresno State rallied with a 6-0 run to pull within 20-14, before USU took over later in the half and took a 46-37 advantage into the lockerroom.
The Aggies came out strong in the second half as after Fresno State scored the first basket, Harris scored on three straight possessions to give USU a 52-39 lead. Fresno State never got closer than seven points the rest of the game.
Backup USU point guard Chris Huber was injured in the first half with a head injury and did not return to the game. After starting point guard David Pak picked up his fourth foul at the 13:05 mark of the second half, Peterson, the starting small forward, moved into the point guard role for the next seven minutes.
Peterson finished the game with 11 points, four assists, four rebounds and just one turnover in 30 minutes of play.
USU shot 60.4 percent from the field marking the fourth time the nation's fourth-leading field goal percentage shooting team reached the 60 percent mark in a game this year. USU also out-rebounded Fresno State 33-21.
Utah State will close the regular season hosting San Jose State on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. The Aggies will recognize their senior class of Nate Harris, Chris Huber, Cass Matheus and David Pak prior to the game.
USU will then head to the Western Athletic Conference Tournament in Reno, Nev. for a first-round game on Thursday. The tournament's semifinals will be held on Friday with the championship game slated for Saturday night.