March 14, 2013
LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Junior center Jarred Shaw led four Utah State double-figure scorers with 20 points, but UT Arlington's Kevin Butler scored 23 points to lead the fourth-seeded Mavericks to an 83-78 win against fifth-seeded Utah State inside the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. on Thursday night in the final game of the Western Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Tournament quarterfinals.
Utah State, who has lost back-to-back quarterfinal games for the first time since 1994 and 1995, falls to 21-10 on the season and 12-6 in its eight years in WAC Tournament action. UT Arlington improves to 18-12 with the win and will face ninth-seeded UTSA in the semifinals of the WAC Tournament Friday.
Shaw, who was 8-of-13 from the field and 4-of-5 from the free throw line, added a game-high nine rebounds for Utah State. Junior guard/forward Spencer Butterfield added 19 points and six rebounds, while sophomore forward Ben Clifford scored all 16 of his points in the second half as he was 5-of-6 from the field and 2-of-2 at the free throw line, while making a career-high four three-pointers on five attempts. Junior guard TeNale Roland also added a career-high 16 points.
Utah State finished the game shooting 58.1 percent from the field (25-of-43), 47.4 percent from three-point range (9-of-19) and 76.0 percent at the free throw line (19-of-25). UT Arlington shot 51.7 percent (31-of-60), including 43.5 percent from three (10-of-23) and 57.9 percent at the charity stripe (11-of-19). USU also out-rebounded UTA by three (30-27), while the Mavericks had seven more assists (17-10), five more steals (8-3) and eight fewer turnovers (14-6).
Trailing 40-29 at the half, Utah State began the second half on an 11-3 run to get within 43-40 just 3:17 into the second half. USU later cut it to 50-48 with 13:35 to play following a Clifford layup and took its first lead of the game at 53-52 with 11:54 remaining following a Clifford trey. UTA scored the next five points to take a 57-53 lead, before USU answered with a 7-2 run to regain the lead at 63-62. USU later led 66-64 following another Clifford trey with 5:46 left and held its last lead of the game at 70-69 with 3:01 remaining after two free throws from Shaw. The Mavericks then scored the next six points to lead 75-70, but USU battled back to within 77-75 and again at 80-78 with 0:40. Trailing 81-78, USU had two chances in the final 37 seconds to tie the game, but committed back-to-back turnovers and never scored again in losing, 83-78.
In the second half, Utah State shot 60.0 percent (15-of-25), including 50.0 percent from three (6-of-12) and 92.9 percent at the line (13-of-14), but UT Arlington shot 50.0 percent from the field (15-of-30), three-point line (6-of-12) and free throw line (7-of-14).
UT Arlington scored the first five points of the game as Utah State turned it over in each of its first three possessions. UTA increased its lead to 10 at 13-3 at the 15:29 mark and lead by as many as 18 in the first half, including at 27-9 with 9:28 to play in the half. USU then went on an 18-9 run over the next 7:47 to cut its deficit to nine at 36-27 as Butterfield had 10 points during the stretch. USU later trailed by nine at 38-29 before the Mavericks scored the final basket of the half to make the score 40-29 at intermission. For Utah State, it is just the fourth time this year it has allowed 40 or more points in the first half.
Butterfield led Utah State with 14 first-half points as the Aggies shot 55.6 percent from the field (10-of-18), 42.9 percent from three-point range (3-of-7) and 54.5 percent at the free throw line (6-of-11). Butler had 10 first-half points for UT Arlington as the Mavericks shot 53.3 percent (16-of-30), including 36.4 percent from behind the arc (4-of-11) and 80.0 at the charity stripe (4-of-5). UTA also had eight more assists (10-2) and six fewer turnovers (9-3) in the first half, while USU had two more rebounds (14-12).
Utah State will now await its postseason future. Fans can stay tuned to www.UtahStateAggies.com for more information.
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 or on facebook at Utah State University Athletics.
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