Aggies Defeat No. 16 Pacific For Big West Tournament Championship, Await NCAA Tournament

March 13, 2005

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ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) - - Jaycee Carroll scored 22 points and Utah State ended No. 18 Pacific's 22-game winning streak with a 65-52 victory for the Big West title and a berth in the NCAA tournament.

Carroll, the Big West freshman of the year, went 9-for-19 from the field, and Spencer Nelson added 16 points for the second-seeded Aggies.

Utah State (24-7) earned its fifth NCAA tournament berth - and its fifth Big West championship - in eight years. Last year's team was denied a tournament birth despite a Top 25 ranking and a 25-4 record.

Top-seeded Pacific (26-3) entered the game with the nation's longest winning streak and had won 34 straight against Big West teams.

The Tigers went more than 10{ minutes without a field goal in the second half, and their 52 point-total was the lowest of the season.

Utah State went on a 19-2 run midway through the second half, capped by a short jumper from Carroll that put the Aggies up 49-37 with 7:32 to play.

The Tigers leading scorer, Guillaume Yango, scored just six points, and Big West player of the year David Doubley had just eight.

The Aggies led by as many as 16 in the final minutes. They had lost to Pacific twice during the regular season, once in overtime, once by a single point.

Pacific led by one, 29-28 at halftime and scored the first four points of the second half, but Carroll made a 3-pointer to pull Utah State to 35-33, and the Aggies took the lead at 36-35 with a short jumper with 15:38 to go.

The Tigers had a scoreless stretch in the first half nearly as long as their second-half drought. After Jasko Korajkic made a 3-pointer to start the game, the Tigers went more than 9 minutes without a field goal in the first.



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