Dec. 7, 2010
LOGAN, Utah - A career-high 19 points from senior guard Pooh Williams and a double-double from senior forward Tai Wesley with a career-best 14 rebounds led Utah State to an 81-53 win over Long Beach State Tuesday night in men's basketball action for USU head coach Stew Morrill's 300th win at the helm of the Aggies.
USU improved to 6-2 on the season, while LBSU evened its ledger at 5-5. The Aggies have beaten the 49ers in nine of the last 10 meetings and 10 of the last 12, including seven in a row at home, as Tuesday's win avenged a 75-62 loss at Long Beach last year.
Utah State won its 18th-straight home game at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, and 70 of its last 72 overall, improving to 180-13 under Morrill. The USU head coach is now 300-101 directing the Aggie program and is the winningest coach in school history and is first all-time in games coached with 401. All-time, Morrill is now 518-239 in 25 years as a collegiate head coach.
Williams tallied 13 of his 19 points in the first half, tying a career-high with four three-pointers. Wesley logged his double-double in the first 20 minutes with 10 points and 10 rebounds, finishing the night with 16 points and 14 boards, as USU dominated the glass to the tune of 42-31. The Aggies had 11 offensive rebounds, including five by Wesley, for a 12-1 second-chance scoring advantage. Williams also tied a career-high with six assists, which were matched by Wesley, as USU dished out a season-high 24 assists.
Senior guard Brian Green added 13 points of the bench, hitting three three-pointers, as the Aggies hit 10-of-26 (38.5 percent) behind the arc, finding their touch in the second half netting 6-of-11 (54.5 percent) after only 4-of-15 (26.7 percent) in the first stanza. USU was 31-of-63 (49.2 percent) field goal shooting while hitting 69.2 percent (9-of-13) at the free throw line.
Long Beach State was led by 11 points and seven assists from Casper Ware while Eugene Phelps added 10 points, and T.J. Robinson tossed in nine points to go with a team-leading 11 rebounds. The 49ers shot 19-of-58 (32.8 percent) from the floor, making 5-of-20 (25.0 percent) behind the arc and 10-of-12 (83.3 percent) at the free pitch stripe.
The score was tied for the only time at 2-2 before USU erupted for a 12-0 run, capped by 3-of-4 free throws by Williams following two technicals and the ejection of LBSU head coach Dan Monson at the 15:36 mark of the first half.
The 49ers pulled within 22-16 with 6:57 to go on a jumper by Tristan Wilson and later cut the gap to 28-23 with 3:35 on the clock, but the Aggies closed out the half with nine unanswered points capped by a layup from junior guard Brockeith Pane. Ware hit a layup with 39 seconds left to stop the streak and send the teams into halftime with USU ahead, 37-25.
Utah State's lead topped 20 for the first time at 50-29 at the 13:32 mark after a three-pointer by sophomore guard E.J. Farris from the right corner, and Williams matched it from the same spot for a 53-29 USU lead with 12:12 to play. A baseline dunk by junior forward Brady Jardine at the 9:25 mark gave the Aggies their largest lead of the night at 62-32 and USU coasted to the win.
USU improved to 4-0 this season when holding the opposition under 60 points, and the Aggies have won 12 straight games dating back to last season when doing so. Overall, Utah State is 161-9 under Morrill when keeping its opponent under 60 points.
Utah State continues its short homestand by hosting Cal State Bakersfield on Saturday, Dec. 11 at 7 p.m. at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, after the USU women take on Idaho State at 1 p.m. After the Aggie men take on in-state foe Utah Valley on Saturday, Dec. 18 at Orem, Utah at 7 p.m., USU will host the World Vision Invitational, sponsored by Gossner Foods on Dec. 21-23. The four-team, three-day tournament has games at 5:30 and 8 p.m. each night, with USU playing at 8 p.m.
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 under the "tickets" drop down menu.
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