Nov. 10, 2012
LOGAN, Utah - Junior guard Preston Medlin scored a team-high 14 points and junior college transfer Spencer Butterfield added nine second-half points to help Utah State claw out a 56-48 home win against Idaho State here Saturday night in the season opener for both teams.
With the win, Utah State improves to 14-1 in its first game of the year under head coach Stew Morrill, including an 8-0 record at home. Overall, USU has now won 18 of its last 19 season openers dating back to the 1993-94 campaign. USU also improved to 179-15 under Morrill when allowing less than 60 points in a game.
Utah State also notched its 14th-straight win against Idaho State as it improved to 36-13 all-time against the Bengals, including a 16-2 home record. Under Morrill, USU is now 54-9 against teams from the state of Idaho.
Medlin finished the night shooting 5-of-7 from the field, 2-of-3 from three-point range and 2-for-2 at the free throw, while Butterfield was 3-of-5 from the field, including 3-of-3 from behind the arc. Junior center Jarred Shaw added eight points and game-high nine rebounds for Utah State, while senior forward Kyisean Reed had seven points and five rebounds.
Melvin Morgan led all scorers with 19 points for Idaho State, as he was 7-of-17 shooting, including 2-of-6 from three-point range and 3-for-3 at the charity stripe.
Trailing 30-23 at intermission, Idaho State chipped away at the Aggie lead and tied the game at 37-all with 9:47 to play following a three-pointer from Nick Mason. USU then scored eight-straight points on back-to-back three's from Butterfield and a layup by Medlin to take a 45-37 advantage with 6:25 to play. ISU cut the lead back to five on a Morgan trey, but the Aggies answered with a 7-0 run that included a pair of buckets by Shaw and Butterfield's third three-pointer of the half to give the home team a 52-40 advantage with 2:06 to play and USU went on to post the eight-point win.
Utah State finished the game shooting 46.8 percent from the field (22-47), 42.9 percent from three-point range (6-14) and 60.0 percent at the free throw line (6-10). Idaho State shot 39.6 percent overall (19-48), including just 27.3 percent from behind the arc (6-22) and 57.1 percent at the line (4-7). USU also dominated the glass and out-rebounded ISU by 13 (36-13), while recording four more assists (15-11) and two more blocked shots (5-3). Idaho State did finish the game with three more steals (10-7) and five fewer turnovers (17-12).
Utah State began the game with a 14-4 advantage as it held Idaho State to just 2-of-11 shooting in the first 10-plus minutes. ISU then scored seven of the next 10 points to get with six at 17-11 only to see the Aggies go on a 7-0 run to take its largest lead of the game at 24-11 with 5:24 to play in the half following a three-pointer from junior forward Marvin Jean. However, Idaho State finished the half on a 12-6 run to close within 30-23 at the break.
In all, Idaho State out-scored Utah State, 26-13, during the final 4:22 of the first half and the first 10:13 of the second half to turn a 24-11 deficit into a 37-37 tie.
Medlin led Utah State with 10 points in the first half as USU shot 50.0 percent (12-24), including making 3-of-7 (.429) three-pointers and 3-of-5 (.600) field goals. Morgan led Idaho State with 12 first-half points as ISU shot 39.1 percent from the field (9-23), including making just 2-of-10 (.200) treys. ISU did convert all three of its free throws in the first half.
Utah State will continue its four-game homestand to start the season by hosting West Coast Conference member Saint Mary's on Thursday, Nov. 15 at 7 p.m., in a game that will be televised regionally on KMYU TV.
The head coach Stew Morrill Radio Show will make its season-debut on Monday, Nov. 12 at 6:05 p.m. on KVNU 610 AM.
In addition to season tickets being on sale, the Utah State Athletics Ticket Office has five different ticket packages for fans that want to watch men's basketball games this season but are unable to attend every game. Fans can choose from a West Coast Package, Saturday Package, Aggie Football/Basketball Doubleheader Package, Gossner Tournament Package and a Western Athletic Conference Package.
The West Coast Package is a four-game set for $60 that includes games against Saint Mary's (11/15), Western Oregon (12/8), Seattle (1/3) and San Jose State (1/11). The Saturday Package also is a four-game set for $60 consisting of games against Texas A&M Corpus Christi (11/17), Western Oregon (12/8), Idaho (1/5) and New Mexico State (2/16). The Aggie Football/Basketball Doubleheader Package is for Saturday, Nov. 24 and gets fans into the USU football vs. Idaho game that afternoon and the USU men's basketball vs. Weber State game that night for $30. The Gossner Package includes all six games of the World Vision Challenge, sponsored by Gossner Foods (12/20-22) for $40. The WAC Weekend Package is a three-game set for $45 including games against San Jose State (1/11), Louisiana Tech (1/26) and UTSA (3/9).
To order a package or for more information, fans can contact the USU Athletics Ticket Office over the phone by calling 1-888-USTATE-1 or 435-797-0305 during regular hours of operation. Fans can also buy their tickets in person at the USU Ticket Office inside the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum or online by clicking on the "Buy Tickets" tab at www.UtahStateAggies.com.
Utah State men's basketball season tickets for the 2012-13 season are also on sale at the USU Ticket Office. Ticket prices are $230 in non-priority areas and $220 in priority areas, which have Big Blue Scholarship Fund per seat commitment fees apply, ranging from $100-$900 per seat in addition to ticket cost.
Family Plans are also available for purchase at $800 (two adults and three Jr Aggies). Please be aware that there is a limit of one Family Plan per household.
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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