Nov. 11, 2011
LOGAN, Utah - Senior guard Brockeith Pane netted 17 second-half points and spearheaded an 11-0 Utah State run to lead the Aggies to a 69-62 win over Brigham Young Friday night at a loud, packed Dee Glen Smith Spectrum in both teams' season-opening game.
Down 42-38 after two free throws by BYU's Brandon Davies at the 11:03 mark, USU reeled off 11 unanswered points, as freshman guard Steven Thornton hit a driving lay-up, followed by a Pane jumper to knot the score at 42-all, forcing a BYU timeout. It was to little avail as senior forward Morgan Grim had back-to-back blocks and sophomore guard Preston Medlin hit a three-pointer from the left wing at the 9:02 mark and USU never looked back. Pane capped the spurt with a jumper for a 49-42 lead with 6:57 to play and the Cougars never got within five points from there on out.
USU won its 24th straight home game against in-state competition, as well as its 32nd consecutive home game overall. Utah State has the third-longest home court winning streak in the country behind Duke's 36 in a row and Kentucky with 34 straight.
The Aggies have now won six of the last nine and seven of the last 11 over the Cougars, including six-straight at home. While Utah State improves to 60-51 at home against BYU, the Cougars lead the all-time series, 136-92, extending USU's oldest rivalry in the program's history.
Pane finished with a game-high 21 points and was one of three Aggies in double-digits, while Medlin added 15 points while senior forward Brady Jardine chipped in 12 points to go with a game-high eight rebounds. Pane and Medlin each dished out five assists, while Pane swiped a game-best three steals. The 21 points by Pane was his 23rd career game in double-figures, including 20-plus points for the fourth time in his career.
BYU also had three players in double-figures, led by Noah Hartsock's 18 points, followed by Charles Abouo's 16 points, hitting three three-pointers and Brandon Davies tossed in 13 points. Abouo had a team-high six rebounds, while Hartsock and Davies had five each. Hartsock also had a team-best four assists.
The Aggies shot 22-of-48 (45.8 percent) from the field, hitting 5-of-15 (33.3 percent) behind the arc, while netting 69.0 percent (20-of-29) at the free throw line. BYU was 22-of-47 (46.8 percent) field goal shooting, but were just 3-of-14 (21.4 percent) from three-point range and made 68.2 percent (15-of-22) at the charity stripe.
USU had a slight, 31-29, rebounding edge. The Aggie defense forced 20 Cougar turnovers, while committing 18 miscues themselves, leading to a 21-15 points off turnovers edge. The physical game had 47 fouls called, but BYU's Stephen Rogers was the only player to foul out. There were 10 ties and the lead changed hands nine times.
After the Cougars opened an early 11-8 lead on a Hartsock layup at the 13:17 mark, the Aggies later opened a 19-15 lead on a three-pointer from sophomore forward Mitch Bruneel in right corner with 8:42 on the first half clock. USU couldn't pull away from BYU, but the Cougars couldn't close to less than a bucket for the rest of the half until Abouo hit a three-pointer from the right wing with 24 seconds remaining until halftime. Grim hit the second of two free throws with .7 on the clock to send USU into halftime with a 30-28 lead.
The lead exchanged hands several times in the early going of the second stanza, before BYU surged ahead from a 38-all time with a pair of free pitch shots by Hartsock and then later two more by Davies, setting up USU's game-clinching run. The Aggie defense held BYU without a field goal from the 15:51 mark of the second half until the 6:02 mark, as the Cougars missed 11 straight shots during the drought.
Utah State continues in-state against Weber State on Tuesday, Nov. 15 at Ogden, Utah. The Aggies' first road game of the season tips off at 7 p.m. (MT).
USU concludes its season-opening three game Beehive State tour by hosting Southern Utah on Saturday, Nov. 19 in a 7 p.m. tip.
To purchase tickets, or for more Aggie basketball ticket information, fans can contact the USU Ticket Office at 1-888-USTATE-1 or 435-797-0305, in person at the USU Ticket Office inside the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, or on-line 24 hours a day at www.utahstateaggies.com by clicking on the "tickets" button.
Fans can follow the Aggie basketball program at twitter.com/Aggiehoops or on the USU men's basketball blog at usubasketball.blogspot.com. Aggie 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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