Nov. 19, 2006
FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Jaycee Carroll recorded his second career double-double with a game-high 24 points and 10 rebounds, while Stephen DuCharme added a season-high 22 points off the bench to lead Utah State's men's basketball team to a convincing 92-74 win against Drake in the semifinals of the 2006 BP Top of the World Classic here late Friday night.
Utah State, who will be playing in its second BP Top of the World Classic tournament championship game in three appearances, improved to 2-1 on the season with the win, while Drake dropped to 1-1 with the loss.
After scoring the first seven points in its game against Centenary Friday night, USU improved on that start Saturday night by scoring the first 12 points before Drake cut the lead in half at 12-6. Leading 27-17 midway through the first-half, Utah State went on an 18-1 run over the next 4:56 to take a commanding 27-point advantage at 45-18 with 5:53 remaining. The Aggies increased its lead to 29 points on a jumper by Chaz Spicer before going into the locker room with a 25-point advantage at 56-31.
In that first half, Utah State shot an amazing 71.9 percent from the field as it made 23-of-32 field goals, while Drake shot 50.0 percent from the field, but made just nine field goals. Carroll led USU with 17 points at the break, while Ajay Calvin had 14 points for the Bulldogs.
Unlike the previous night when Utah State let a 20-point half-time lead diminish to six points against Centenary, the Aggies continued to play well against Drake and led by 28 points at 82-54 on a three-pointer by Mikel Watson with 10:05 remaining. USU then cooled off from the field and scored just 10 points over the next 10:05 of the game as the Bulldogs cut the lead to 16 at 85-69 with 4:48 remaining before losing by 18.
For Utah State, DuCharme tied a school record for field goal percentage in a single game as he was a perfect 10-of-10 from the field. Watson and Spicer also came off the bench to score in double-figures for the Aggies as each player finished with 12 points.
Calvin finished with 23 points for Drake, while Leonard Houston scored 12 points off the bench.
Utah State finished the game by shooting 61.4 percent from the field and 40.9 percent from three-point range (9-22), while Drake shot 45.8 percent from the field and 41.7 percent from behind the arc (10-24). The Bulldogs struggled at the foul line, converting just 54.1 percent of its charity tosses (20-37), while the Aggies made 59.1 percent (13-22) of its free throws.
Utah State also recorded a season-high 22 assists and a season-low 11 turnovers in the game, and out-rebounded Drake 32-28.
Utah State will face Weber State in the tournament championship game on Sun., Nov. 19 at 8 p.m. (MT). Weber State, who will be playing in its second BP Top of the World Classic tournament championship game in two appearances, defeated Troy 66-61 earlier in the day in the other semifinal game.
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