LOGAN, Utah - Utah State men’s and women’s basketball provided a preview of the season-to-be on Friday night, hosting the second annual Primetime Madness event. The night featured scrimmages by both teams, a 3-point competition and a closing challenge that paired a player from both teams with a member of the HURD.
The women opened the event with a scrimmage and were led by sophomore guard Rachel Brewster with nine points. She was one of four players to finish with a team-high three rebounds, joined by freshman forward Shannon Dufficy, sophomore guard Lizzy Klinker and sophomore center Deja Mason. Making her USU debut, freshman guard Eliza West made the most of her minutes with three steals and four assists.
“This really was the first night to turn the lights on and get some referees out there,” women’s head coach Jerry Finkbeiner said. “It was a well-rounded night, and I was impressed with the Aggie fans and the turnout.”
The men then began their scrimmage and freshman guard Koby McEwen led the way for the Aggies with 12 points on 6-of-9 shooting. He was followed by another newcomer, sophomore forward Norbert Janicek with 10 points and a team-best five rebounds. Sophomore forward Quinn Taylor and junior forward Ngor Barnaba matched the effort on the glass with five rebounds apiece.
The Utah State men had 10 more record points during the scrimmage with junior guard Julion Pearre recording five, senior guard Shane Rector and freshman forward Klay Stall with four, Barnaba, freshman wing Daron Henson and freshman guard Abel Porter all with three, freshman guard Sam Merrill, senior wing Jalen Moore and Taylor with two and senior wing Connor Garner with one.
Rector led the defense with two steals and also tied for the team lead with four assists, matching Merrill, also with four. Merrill tied for the team lead in blocks as well, tying Stall with one block each.
“This is a fun event and it gets our guys out in front of some fans and smelling the popcorn,” men’s head coach Tim Duryea said. “That first night you may have some jitters, so it is good to get those out. This was really just about having a fun night for the players and we’ll get back to work tomorrow as a team and as coaches.”
In the 3-point competition, sophomore guard Lindsey Jensen beat out Dufficy by knocking down nine trey’s to Dufficy’s eight. Barnaba took home the title on the men’s side, sinking his 12th shot at the buzzer to beat Pearre, who had made 11.
In the final competition of the night, McEwen made the decisive half-court shot in each round to send his team to victory. The teams had to make a layup, free throw, 3-point and half-court shot to capture the championship.
The Aggie women begin their season on Sunday, Nov. 6, in an exhibition game against Colorado State-Pueblo. Official competition for the 2016-17 campaign will start in a home game against Westminster on Friday, Nov. 11, at Noon.
The men will host a lone exhibition game against Southern Virginia on Friday, Nov. 4, before opening the 2016-17 season at UC Irvine on Friday, Nov. 11. The Aggies will host their home opener against NJIT on Monday, Nov. 14, as part of 16 regular season home games for Utah State during the 2016-17 season.
Utah State men’s basketball news and information is available on Facebook at /USUmen’sbasketball and on Twitter @Aggiehoops. Fans can follow USU women’s basketball on Twitter, @UtahStateWBB, on Instagram, @UtahStateWBB, as well as on Facebook, at /UtahStateWBB. Aggie fans can also follow Utah State Athletics on Twitter.com, @USUAthletics, on Instagram, @USUAthletics and on Facebook at /USUAthletics.
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