Dec. 30, 2004
LOGAN, Utah - Nate Harris scored 21 points and tied a career-high with 13 rebounds to lead Utah State to an 87-42 win against Loyola Marymount to claim the 11th annual Gossner Foods Holiday Classic basketball tournament here Thursday.
The Aggies, who improved to 10-3 on the season, are 22-0 in the 11 years of hosting its holiday tournament. Loyola-Marymount fell to 8-4 on the year and went 1-1 in this two-day event.
Harris was named the MVP of the tournament as he scored 34 points and added 18 rebounds in two games. Spencer Nelson chipped in 17 points, while Jaycee Carroll drilled four of five three pointers en route to 16 points for the Aggies on Thursday. Loyola Marymount was led by Charles Brown, who scored 11 points.
The Aggies dominated the game shooting 65.3 percent from the field and holding LMU to 29.8 percent shooting and just 42 points, a season low by an Aggie opponent.
USU scored 22 straight points in a nine-minute stretch to turn a 10-6 lead into a 34-6 advantage in the first half. In that time, Loyola Marymount missed eight field goals and had six turnovers. USU's lead never dropped below 20 points after that.
USU's 87 points were its most since beating Cal State Fullerton 87-61 on Feb. 21 of last year, while the 45-point victory margin was the Aggies' largest since beating Western State by 56 (99-43) on Dec. 15, 2001.
The Aggies out-rebounded LMU 41-21 and made 18 of 25 free throws comparted to LMU's five of 10 performance from the charity stripe.
Earlier in the night, Northern Arizona defeated South Carolina State 85-75 in the consolation game of the tournament.
In addition to Harris being named the tournament MVP, USU's Nelson and Caroll were selected to the all-tournament team along with Loyola Marymount's Brown, South Carolina State's Brandon Trapp and Northern Arizona's DeJuan Stevens.
Utah State will return to action, opening up Big West Conference play against UC Santa Barbara on Thursday, Jan. 6. The Aggies will also host Cal Poly on Saturday, Jan. 8. Both games will tipoff at 7:05 p.m.
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