Nov. 24, 2009
LOGAN, Utah - Home proved sweet for the Utah State men's basketball team, as the Aggies beat Idaho State, 77-44, Tuesday at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum in USU's home opener.
The win halted a short two-game losing streak for the Aggies and leveled their overall record at 2-2. The Bengals fall to 1-4 overall with all four losses coming on the road. USU improved to 33-13 all-time vs. ISU, winning 11 in a row, including six-straight at home as the Aggies move to 14-2 all-time vs. the Bengals on USU's home court.
Tuesday was Utah State's 35th consecutive home win, a school record and the second-longest in the country behind Kansas' 42 in a row. The Aggies have also won 39 home non-conference games in a row and 63 of their last 65. USU has also now won 63 regular season home non-conference games in a row.
Utah State won its 16th-consecutive home opener in improving to 44-9 all-time in its first home game of the season. Tuesday was not only USU's home opener, but the first of a five game homestand and a stretch of seven out of nine home games.
Junior forward Tai Wesley netted 19 points, sharing game-leading honors with Idaho State's Amorrow Morgan. Junior guard Brian Green tallied a new career-high with 12 points, hitting a game-high three three-pointers, part of seven for the Aggies. Four other USU players added seven or more points.
Morgan was the lone Bengal in double-figures, as ISU shot 16-of-49 (32.7 percent) from the floor, including 3-of-14 (21.4 percent) from three-point range.
Utah State was 14-of-26 (53.8 percent) shooting in the first half, as the Aggies led 40-16 at intermission, coasting to a final shooting percentage of 45.6 percent (26-of-57). USU was 7-of-20 (35.0 percent) behind the arc.
Both teams hit 81.8 percent at the free throw line, but the Aggies (18-of-22) shot and made twice as many as the Bengals (9-of-11).
Idaho State's lone lead of the night was at 2-0 before Utah State took over, scoring the next seven points, capped by an up-and-under layup from junior forward Nate Bendall. The Aggies quickly led 29-8 with 9:06 left in the half for their first 20-point lead of the night on a baseline dunk by Wesley, part of a 20-2 USU run started by a three-pointer from senior guard Jared Quayle and finished with a pair of shots at the free pitch stripe from Wesley.
The Bengals reached double-digits at 31-10 on a dunk by Deivida Busma with 7:24 to play. Utah State's largest first-half lead was at 40-12 with 3:42 to play on a layup from junior guard Pooh Williams, and USU had a 40-16 halftime lead.
The Aggie advantage swelled to 30 for the first time at 46-16 at the 18:06 mark on a free throw. After USU was up, 55-19, following a three-pointer from Quayle, ISU reeled off seven-straight points to pull within 55-26, capped by an Austin Kilpatrick three-pointer. That gap would be the closest the Bengals would get, as the Aggie lead reached its largest of the night at 38 on a layup by junior center Modou Niang to make it 74-36 with 4:16 to play and USU coasted to the victory.
Quayle and sophomore forward Brady Jardine both pulled down a game-high eight rebounds, leading USU to a 43-24 rebounding advantage, matching ISU's rebounding total with defensive rebounds, while adding 19 on the offensive glass. The Bengals' leading rebounder was Rolando Little with six. Quayle dished out a game-high seven assists, followed by four by Wesley and three from junior guard Tyler Newbold.
USU continues its homestand by hosting Southern Utah on Saturday, Dec. 28 in the first of back-to-back Beehive State battles, followed by a match-up with BYU on Wednesday, Dec. 2. Both the SUU and BYU games will be broadcast on CW30 (Comcast Ch. 15 in Cache Valley).
Saturday's 7 p.m. tip-off for the Aggie men's game is the second half of a day-night doubleheader with the USU women, who take on Montana Western at 3 p.m.
For Aggie men's and women's basketball information, contact the USU Ticket Office at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, by phone by calling 1-888-USTATE-1 or (435) 797-0305, or online 24 hours a day at www.UtahStateAggies.com and clicking on the "buy/renew tickets" under the "tickets" drop down menu.
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