Dec. 16, 2006
PROVO, Utah - Utah State basketball's eight-game winning streak overall and its season unbeaten mark against in-state foes was snapped with a 75-62 loss to Brigham Young Saturday afternoon at the Marriott Center. The loss also halted the Aggies' win streak against the Cougars at four in a row.
The loss drops the Aggies to 8-2 on the year, while BYU snapped its two-game losing skid and evened their record at 5-5 overall. The win was BYU's 19th-straight at home, tied for the fifth-longest home court winning streak in the country.
Saturday was Utah State's first loss to an in-state foe this season as the Aggies are now 4-1 against teams from the state of Utah. USU has won 10 of its last 12 against in-state foes and are now 18-6 against the state of Utah over the last seven years.
Junior guard Jaycee Carroll, USU's leading scorer entering the game, was held to a season-low 16 points and led the Aggies with seven rebounds. Carroll did not make a three-pointer for the second game in a row, marking just the second time in his career that has had back-to-back games without a trey, dating back to his freshman season.
Three of BYU's starters scored in double-figures, led by Trent Plaisted with 18 points, while Keena Young tallied 15 points to go with a game-high 12 rebounds, and Jimmy Balderson tossed in 10 points.
Three other Aggies tallied double-digits, led by senior forward Chris Session netting a career-high 12 points to go with a career-high five steals, while junior forward Michael Earl tallied a season-high with 10 points after not scoring in the previous five games. Fellow junior forward Stephen DuCharme matched Earl with 10 points.
After the game opened with the teams trading baskets, BYU pulled away from a 6-6 tie with a 15-5 run to open a double-digit lead at 21-11 after a three-pointer from Lee Cummard at 10:55. The Cougars' lead swelled to its largest of the half at 14 after a jumper by Young to make it 26-12 with 8:42 to go.
After an Aggie timeout, USU scored six unanswered points started by a jumper from Session, followed by a layup by fellow senior forward Chaz Spicer and then a pair of Carroll free throws. That would be the closest Utah State would get for the rest of the first stanza, as BYU pushed its lead back to 14 on two different occasions.
The Aggies again mounted a rally that was capped by a Session bucket at 1:15 to pull Utah State within, 36-28.
With time winding down in the half, the Aggie defense appeared to have held the deficit at eight, but Ainge was fouled on a three-point attempt at the buzzer. After an officials conference that included reviewing the play, Ainge was awarded three free throws, hitting two of them to put BYU ahead, 38-28 at the half.
Utah State trimmed the margin down to 10 on three different times early in the second half, the last at 44-34 after a putback by Session at 17:02. The Aggies' deficit grew to its largest of the game at 71-51 with 5:16 to go in the game after a free throw by Plaistad and the Cougars coasted to the win.
The Aggies shot a season-low 36.1 percent from the field, but hit a season-high 90.0 percent (18-20) at the free throw line, marking the first time this season that USU has lost when shooting better than the opponent at the free throw line.
Utah State missed all 11 of its three-point attempts, snapping the Aggies' streak of games with at least one three-pointer at 127 straight, dating back to USU's last loss to BYU, Dec. 14, 2002 on the same floor as Saturday's contest. That game was also the last time that BYU held an opponent without a three-pointer.
BYU shot a warmish 28-55 (50.9 percent) field goal shooting, including 6-16 (37.5 percent) behind the three-point arc. At the charity stripe, the Cougars hit 13-25 (52.0 percent).
BYU also had a 39-35 rebounding edge, marking just the third time this season that USU has been outrebounded.
The Aggies return to the friendly confines of the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum to host IPFW on Thursday, Dec. 21 at 7:05 p.m.
Contact the USU Athletics Ticket Office at (435) 797-0305 or at 1-888-U-STATE-1 (1-888-878-2831) for ticket information.
Fans can listen to Utah State men's basketball games live on KVNU 610 AM in Logan and on 1320 AM or 1230 AM in Salt Lake City.
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