Nov. 12, 2007
LOGAN, Utah - Utah State pulled away from a pesky Montana-Western squad with a 15-1 second-half run and coasted to a 77-58 win Monday night at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. All-American senior guard Jaycee Carroll netted 31 points to lead the Aggies to their 46th consecutive non-conference home win, the second-longest streak in the country.
With the win, the Aggies improved to 2-1 on the young season for the fourth straight season. The game was part of the South Padre Invitational and counted as an exhibition for Montana-Western, an NAIA school from Dillon, Mont.
USU bounced back from a disappointing 78-71 loss at Weber State Saturday, as the Aggies improved to 31-1 at home following a loss under head coach Stew Morrill and 43-12 overall in the last eight years following a loss.
Carroll (Evanston, Wyo.) hit 10-of-19 from the field including 5-of-10 from three-point range and added 6-of-6 from the free throw line. He had 17 at halftime and added 14 in the second half. It was Carroll's fifth career 30-point game.
Utah State improved to 19-4 since the beginning of the 2006-07 season when Carroll nets 20 or more points.
Junior forward Gary Wilkinson (South Jordan, Utah) was 10-of-11 at the charity stripe and ended with 12 points on the night, as he has now posted double-figures in all three games this season.
The game also saw the Aggie debut of highly touted freshman center Modou Niang, who made an immediate impact with two blocked shots in only 13 minutes of action.
Montana-Western was led by Gus McDonald with 19 points, while Daniel Creech added 10.
Carroll pulled down a team-high seven rebounds, guiding USU to a 32-30 rebounding advantage, as the Aggies have out-rebounded all three of their opponents this season.
For the second home game in a row, Utah State led from start to finish, jumping out to a 21-10 lead at 8:35 after a Carroll three-pointer. The Bulldogs closed to 23-20 with 5:46 left in the half on a layup by Creech, but the Aggies closed out the half on a 16-7 spurt, capped by a half-court shot from senior guard Kris Clark (Wilmington, N.C.) that got nothing but net as the buzzer sounded, sending USU into intermission with a 39-27 lead.
The Aggie lead grew to 52-37 before the Bulldogs clawed back to 59-49 at the 9:30 mark on a jumper from Bob Neiman, but a Carroll layup followed by a three-point play from Wilkinson sparked the USU 15-1 streak to put the game out of reach.
Utah State committed a season-low 18 turnovers while swiping a season-high 14 steals as part of Montana-Western's 27 turnovers, as USU netted a season-high 77 points.
The Aggies shot 41.5 percent (22-of-53) from the field on the night, hitting 8-of-20 (40.0 percent) of their three-pointers, as well as 89.3 percent (25-of-28) at the free throw line.
The Bulldogs were 42.9 percent (21-of-49) field goal shooting, hitting 31.3 percent (5-of-16) behind the arc. UMW was also 64.7 percent (11-of-17) at the charity stripe.
Utah State hits the road for an old Big West reunion at Cal Poly on Thursday, Nov. 15 at 8:30 p.m. (MT) and at UC Irvine on Saturday, Nov. 17 at 8:05 p.m. (MT).
Utah State basketball games are broadcast on KVNU (610 AM) and KLZX (95.9 FM) in Logan, Utah, KFAN (1320 AM) or ESPN Radio (1230 AM) in Salt Lake City and KLZX (105.3 FM) in Montpelier, Idaho, as well as on the internet at www.UtahStateAggies.com through Yahoo! Sports. Al Lewis serves as the play-by-play announcer.
The Aggies return home to host Austin Peay on Tuesday, Nov. 20 at 7:05 p.m. at the Dee Glen Smith 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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