Nov. 9, 2007
LOGAN, Utah - Three Aggies in double-figures, led by All-American senior guard Jaycee Carroll's game-high 23 points, paced Utah State to a 60-49 win against in-state foe Southern Utah Friday night at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum in USU's regular-season opener. With the win, the Aggies have now won 13 of their last 14 season openers and improve to 74-29 all-time in the first game of the year.
USU has now won 27 of its last 28 games when starting the season at home. Utah State also improved to 42-9 in its home-openers, winning 14 in a row. The Aggies also extended their non-conference home winning streak to 45 in a row, which is the second-longest streak in the country behind Duke, who pushed its streak to 51-straight Friday night.
Friday was just the second time that USU and SUU have met and the first since the inaugural meeting on Dec. 17, 1994, won by the Aggies, 76-63, at the Delta Center in Salt Lake City. Overall, Utah State has won 12 of its last 14 games against in-state opponents and improves to 20-6 versus the state of Utah during the last eight years.
Carroll, a native of Evanston, Wyo., netted 14 of his points in the first half and finished the night 8-of-14 shooting from the floor including 3-of-5 from three-point range. Carroll also nabbed a game-high seven rebounds and hit all four of his free throws. Dating back to last season, Carroll has hit 36 of his last 39 free throws (92.3 percent).
Senior forward Stephen DuCharme (Andover, Kan.) added 11 points and five rebounds, while junior forward Gary Wilkinson (South Jordan, Utah) made his official Aggie debut with 10 points and six rebounds to go along with a game-high three blocked shots.
USU shot 52.2 percent (12-of-23) in the second half to pull away from a 30-21 intermission lead. The Aggies ended the night 22-of-46 (47.8 percent), but were just 3-of-10 (33.3 percent) behind the three-point arc.
The Aggie defense limited the Thunderbirds to 19-of-52 (36.5 percent) field goal shooting. Tyler Quinney was the only SUU player in double-digits with 10 points and no Thunderbird had more than four rebounds.
Utah State had a 35-26 rebounding advantage, including 24 defensive boards.
USU led from start-to-finish, opening an 11-4 lead at the 13:54 mark. SUU closed the gap to 20-16 at 5:13 after a three-pointer from David Marek, but a 5-0 USU run gave the Aggies their largest lead of the half at 25-16.
The Thunderbirds trimmed the margin to 38-34 at the 14:15 point of the second half. A 7-0 USU spurt capped by sophomore center Brayden Bell (Brighton, Utah) with a baseline dunk put USU up, 45-34, and the Aggies coasted to the win, leading by as much as 15 at 60-45 with 2:15 left on a Carroll trey.
A total of seven players scored for Utah State, including four who were making their Aggie debuts.
Utah State faces its second Beehive State foe in as many days on Saturday when the Aggies head to Ogden, Utah to take on Weber State. Tip-off is slated for 7:05 p.m. and will be televised by KJZZ-TV.
USU then plays its third game in four days on Monday, hosting Montana-Western as part of the South Padre Island Invitational. That contest starts at 7:05 p.m. at the Dee Glen Spectrum.
For Utah State basketball ticket information, fans can go to www.UtahStateAggies.com and click on "tickets" or call the USU Ticket Office at 1-800-USTATE-1 or 435-797-0305.
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