Dec. 21, 2012
LOGAN, Utah - Senior forward Kyisean Reed and junior center Jarred Shaw combined for 39 points and 23 rebounds in leading Utah State (7-1) to a 79-72 home win against Nicholls State (1-6) Thursday night in game two of the 2012 World Vision Basketball Challenge, sponsored by Gossner Foods at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
Utah State, who won its sixth-straight game on the year, improves to 44-1 all-time in tournaments it hosts. USU also upped its home record to 5-1 this season and 215-19 under 15th-year head coach Stew Morrill.
Reed scored a season-high 20 points for Utah State and grabbed a career-best 12 rebounds for his first double-double of the season and the second of his career. Overall, Reed was 7-of-9 from the field and 6-for-8 at the free throw line, to go along with a career-high four blocked shots and three steals.
Shaw registered his fourth double-double of the season as he scored a career-high 19 points for Utah State to go along with 11 rebounds as he was 7-of-10 from the field and 5-for-8 at the free throw line.
Junior guard/forward Spencer Butterfield also had his best offensive night of the season as he scored in double-figures for the second time as an Aggie with a career-high 14 points to go along with four rebounds, as he was 4-of-7 from the field, 1-of-2 from three-point range and 5-for-7 at the free throw line.
Junior guard Marvin Jean played a career-high 23 minutes off the bench for Utah State and tied his career-high with eight points on 3-of-6 shooting, including 2-of-4 from behind the arc, while freshman guard Marcel Davis dished out a career-best seven assists in a career-high 31 minutes, while committing just one turnover. Davis also added six points in the game.
Sophomore center Matt Lopez also played well for Utah State off the bench as he scored five points and blocked his first two shots as an Aggie in 12 minutes.
T.J. Carpenter led four Nicholls State players in double-figures with 23 points, while Fred Hunter had 17 points and 10 rebounds. Dantrell Thomas also had a double-double for the Colonels with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Utah State finished the game shooting 55.3 percent (26-47), marking the fourth time in as many games and fifth time this year it has shot better than 50 percent from the field. USU struggled from behind the arc making just 4-of-13 (.308) three-pointers, while hitting 67.6 percent of its free throws, (23-34), tying a season-high for field goals made while setting a new season-high for free throws attempted.
Nicholls State shot just 37.7 percent from the field (26-69), but did make half of its shots in the final 20 minutes (18-36) as it out-scored Utah State by 14 points (50-36). NSU also struggled from three-point range, making 23.3 percent (7-30) and was 13-of-18 (.722) from the charity stripe.
Utah State also won the rebounding battle, 41-33, but did not have a double-digit advantage on the boards for the first time this season. USU also had eight more blocked shots in the game (9-1), posting a season-high with the nine rejections, and two more assists (18-16), but also committed seven more turnovers (13-6).
Utah State also improved to 6-0 on the year and has now won 72 of its last 74 games when leading at the half.
Utah State dominated the first half and took a commanding 43-22 lead into the locker room as it shot 57.7 percent (15-26) and held Nicholls State to just 24.2 percent shooting (8-33).
Nicholls State scored the first four points of the second half before Utah State scored the next five to take its largest lead of the contest at 48-26 with 18:26 to play following a three-pointer from Davis. USU maintained its 20-point cushion until the 13:53 mark when Nicholls State began to fight back via a 24-8 run over the next 7:03 to close with five points at 62-57. The Colonels would eventually get as close as one possession, trailing 69-66 with 2:44 remaining, but could get no closer as the Aggies ended the game on a 6-2 run to post the seven-point win.
Utah State will return to action on Friday, Dec. 21 when it hosts UC Davis (3-6) in game four of the World Vision Challenge at 8 p.m., following the third game of the tournament which has Nicholls State facing Southern Illinois (6-3) at 5:30 p.m. SIU lost to UCD, 78-70, in the first game Thursday night.
For USU men's basketball ticket information, fans can contact the USU Athletics Ticket Office over the phone by calling 1-888-USTATE-1 or 435-797-0305 during regular hours of operation. Fans can also buy their tickets in person at the USU Ticket Office inside the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum or online by clicking on the "Buy Tickets" tab at www.UtahStateAggies.com.
Fans can follow the Aggie men's basketball program at twitter.com/AggieHoops. USU fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program at twitter.com/USUAthletics or on facebook at Utah State University Athletics.
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