Dec. 20, 2007
LOGAN, Utah - With a season-high 32 points, Utah State senior All-American guard Jaycee Carroll had a milestone night in leading the Aggies to an 87-65 walloping of the Wolverines from Utah Valley in the first round of the Gossner Classic Thursday night at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. Carroll not only reached the 2,000 career point plateau but he also became USU's No. 2 all-time leading scorer, passing Aggie legend Wayne Estes.
Carroll now has 2,009 points for his career, reaching both milestones on the same shot, a three-pointer from the right corner with 11:51 left in the game to put USU ahead, 66-45.
The native of Evanston, Wyo., was dropping three-pointers almost as fast as the snow was falling outside, finishing the night hitting 6-of-9 from three-point range. Carroll reached 30 points for the sixth time in his career in helping the Aggies keep an undefeated record in the Gossner Classic by running their record to a perfect 25-0.
On the season, USU won its third in a row and fifth in the last six outings in improving to 8-5 on the year. Utah Valley has lost six of its last seven in falling to 4-8 overall.
The Aggies have now beaten the Wolverines in all three meetings all-time.
USU also won its 15th-straight home game against in-state opponents and improves to 17-1 at home against opposition from the state of Utah under head coach Stew Morrill.
Thursday's win was also USU's 50th regular-season non-conference home victory, the second-longest in the country behind Duke's 56 in a row.
Senior guard Kris Clark (Wilmington, N.C.) established a new career-high by dishing out 10 assists, while junior forward Gary Wilkinson (South Jordan, Utah) added 16 points while freshman forward Tai Wesley (Provo, Utah) tossed in 10.
Ryan Toolson was Utah Valley's only player in double-figures, finishing with 19 points on just 8-of-19 shooting from the field, while Joe Walker pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds.
Carroll snagged a team-high six boards, while Wilkinson had five and Wesley four. The Aggies were out-rebounded by the Wolverines, 28-27, marking just the fourth time this season that USU was on the small end in the rebounding category, but Thursday was the first victory when doing so.
USU made a season-high 33 field goals, shooting 33-of-55 (60.0 percent), including making a season-high 11 treys while taking a season-high 23 three-pointers for 47.8 percent.
The Aggies were a perfect 10-of-10 at the free throw line, marking the first time this season USU did not miss at the charity stripe.
Utah Valley was 28-of-59 (47.5 percent) from the field including 6-of-20 (30.0 percent) three-point shooting and the Wolverines were 3-of-6 (50.0 percent) at the free throw line.
The Aggies bolted out of the gates building a 12-2 lead less than four minutes into the contest and stretched the gap to 26-6 at 11:42 after a three-pointer from junior guard DeUndrae Spraggins (East St. Louis, Ill.) and the Wolverines never recovered.
USU maintained its large lead, taking a 48-34 halftime advantage, before pulling away and coasting to the win, leading by as much as 24 twice in the waning minutes.
The Aggies advance to Friday's Classic championship game against Northern Arizona who beat Furman, 68-56 in Thursday's opening action. The Lumberjacks won their fifth game in a row and sixth in the last seven in improving to 8-4 overall. USU is 2-1 all-time vs. NAU.
Tip-off is set for 8:05 p.m., following the consolation game between Furman (0-9) and Utah Valley (4-8) at 5:30 p.m.
Friday's championship game will be regionally telecast on KJZZ (Comcast Ch. 14 in Cache Valley.
Aggie basketball games are broadcast on KVNU (610 AM) and KLZX (95.9 FM) in Logan, Utah, KFAN (1320 AM) or ESPN Radio (1230 AM) in Salt Lake City and KLZX (105.3 FM) in Montpelier, Idaho, as well as on the internet at www.UtahStateAggies.com through Yahoo! Sports. Al Lewis serves as the play-by-play announcer.
For Utah State basketball ticket information, fans can go to www.UtahStateAggies.com and click on "tickets" or call the USU Ticket Office at 1-800-USTATE-1 or 435-797-0305.
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