March 4, 2006
LOGAN, Utah - Playing in the final home game of his career, Utah State senior Nate Harris scored 12 of his game-high 19 points in the second half to lift the Aggies to a narrow 61-58 win against San Jose State in men's basketball action here Saturday night.
With the win Utah State improved to 21-7 overall and finished second in the Western Athletic Conference to Nevada with a 11-5 league mark. San Jose State dropped to 6-24 overall and 2-14 in league play.
Utah State grabbed a nine-point lead early in the second half at 38-29, but San Jose State fought back to go ahead by six at 52-46 with 8:49 left on a Demetrius Brown layup.
The visitors led by four at 58-54 with 1:56 remaining before David Pak converted a three-point play on a layup and free throw for USU to cut the margin to 58-57 with 1:41 left. Cass Matheus then hit four straight free throw attempts to give USU a 61-58 advantage with :34 left.
San Jose State attempted three three-pointers on its final possession, but all three missed the mark and the Aggies held on to record their 13th home win in 15 tries.
On the night USU made 21 of 24 free throws, including each of its nine attempts in the final seven minutes of the game. Seven of those attempts came in the final 2:15.
Chaz Spicer provided the energy for the Aggies in the first half as he scored all 14 of his points in the first period, including a stretch of eight straight USU points. The forward ended the night six of nine from the field and added four rebounds.
6-3 forward Durrall Peterson matched his career high with nine rebounds, while Matheus chipped in with three blocks.
San Jose State was led by the tandem of Alex Elam, who scored 19 points and Carlton Spencer who contributed 17 points, including four three-pointers.
USU shot just 36.7 percent from the field, but also limited San Jose State to just 39.0 percent. SJSU out-rebounded the Aggies 37-34, but went just three of eight from the free throw line, while USU was hitting 21 of 24 charity tosses.
Aggie guard Jaycee Carroll saw his streak of making at least one three-pointer in 30 straight games come to an end as he was 0-of three from behind the arc and just two of nine overall en route to a season-low four points. Carroll entered the game averaging 17.1 points per game.
Utah State enters the WAC Tournament Thursday night as the second seed. The Aggies will meet seventh-seeded San Jose State in a rematch at 3:30 p.m. mountain time.
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