Nov. 15, 2011
OGDEN, Utah - Utah State men's basketball cut a Weber State double-digit gap to six with 2:21 to play, but couldn't get any closer, falling, 73-63, Tuesday night at Dee Events Center in USU's first road game of the young season.
WSU improved to 2-0 while USU evened its ledger at 1-1. The loss snapped the Aggies' four-game win streak in the series with the Wildcats, as USU now leads 38-26. WSU now holds a 17-14 lead at Ogden.
The Wildcats scorched the nets from three-point range, hitting their first seven treys on the way to 12-of-23 (52.2 percent) for the game, as they only made eight field goals inside the arc. WSU was 8-of-12 (66.7 percent) behind the arc in the first half, making 4-of-11 (36.4 percent) in the second stanza. The Wildcats ended the night 20-of-54 (37.0 percent) field goal shooting. WSU was also 21-of-27 (77.8 percent) at the free throw line.
Scott Bamforth hit seven three's, on the way to a game-high 28 points. Damian Lillard added 17 points, netting a pair of treys, while Byron Fulton tossed in 10 points off the bench. Kyle Bullinger pulled down a team-leading 13 boards, leading WSU to a 38-35 rebounding edge.
USU was led by senior forward Morgan Grim with a career-high 19 points, more than doubling his previous career-high of nine points. Senior guard Brockeith Pane added 14 points. Senior forward Brady Jardine pulled down a game and career-high 14 rebounds. Grim also tied his career-best rebounding effort with seven boards. Both of Grim's previous career highs were also against Weber State, last season on Nov. 13, 2010. Tuesday's four points by the bench were the fewest Aggie bench points since 2008, when only two points came from the USU reserves.
The Aggies shot 23-of-51 (45.1 percent) field goal shooting, making just 3-of-9 (33.3 percent) three-pointers while netting 14-of-23 (60.9 percent) from the charity stripe.
WSU took a 57-39 lead after a triple by Bullinger from the left corner with 12:22 to play, before USU trimmed the gap to 59-49 with 8:37 left on a putback by Grim. However Bamforth hit a three-pointer from the top of the arc to momentarily thwart the Aggies' rally, but Jardine hit a long jumper from the left elbow and sophomore forward Mitch Bruneel had a putback to trim the gap to 62-53 with 6:53 remaining.
Utah State got within 67-61 on a putback jam by Jardine with 2:21 left, but the Aggies couldn't get any closer as the Wildcats hit 6-of-6 free throws in the final 1:08 to keep USU at bay and seal the win.
Weber State pulled away from an 11-11 score with a 24-9 run, capped by a three-pointer by Lillard from the right wing, to open a 35-20 lead. After WSU had a 42-25 lead, Grim had a putback dunk with tenths of seconds left on the first half clock, sending the Aggies into halftime down 42-27.
WSU opened up a 47-31 lead after a three-point play by Frank Otis with 17:21, but USU reeled off six unanswered to cut the gap to 47-37 after a Bruneel tip-in with 15:42 to go. The Aggies couldn't get any closer than 10, as the Wildcats reeled off a 10-2 run, capped by Bullinger's three-pointer.
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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