Aggies down Rams
Published: Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Updated: Wednesday, February 12, 2014 23:02
For the first time since joining the Mountain West, the Utah State men’s basketball team won a road conference game, defeating Colorado State 71-62 win in Fort Collins. The Aggies have now won three straight games and move to 5-7 in conference.
USU held CSU to a 29.8 field goal percentage, including 17.2 percent in the first half. In contrast, the Aggies shot 49 percent from the field.
“It is our achilles heel that we really don’t shoot the ball well. I’ve won games where we’ve shot 29 percent, but what we didn’t do was get to their shooters and contest the shots, which would have lowered their score,” said CSU head coach Larry Eustachy. “I’ve won several games with this number (shooting percentage) being at 29, but for some reason, and I would call it immaturity, it didn’t work out.”
USU came into the game off their first consecutive wins in conference play. The Aggies’ confidence from the previous two wins appeared to play a part in their victory on Tuesday.
“When they came in here they knew they were going to beat us, so we just didn’t play our game,” said CSU junior guard Daniel Bejarano. “They out-toughed us.”
Senior guard Preston Medlin led the Aggies in scoring with 18 points, he also hit his 200th career 3-pointer, the fifth-most by any individual player in program history.
“He gained some confidence at home last week and it really showed today,” said USU head coach Stew Morrill about Medlin. “He has bounced back with a lot of energy after that tough streak of games for him. I was very pleased with his performance.”
The Aggies out-rebounded the Rams by 13 in the game, a stat CSU normally takes pride in.
“When you miss so many shots there is opportunity to rebound, and we just didn’t get the offensive rebounds like we’re capable of doing,” Eustachy said.
The Aggies didn’t lead by fewer than 10 points in the second half until the last minute of the game. They also didn’t trail at any point in the game.
“I thought the tougher, more determined team won. Those things are not what we’re about,” Eustachy said. “So, give Utah State credit, but this game was over in the first 10 minutes.”
A large part of USU’s recent success has been the revival of its big men. Kyle Davis has scored double-digit points in each of the last three games, and Jarred Shaw missed his third straight double-double on Tuesday by two points.
The Aggies look to extend their winning streak to four games at home on Saturday against UNLV, who they lost to by 20 earlier this season.
“Great win for us. From the start we played well defensively, which helped a lot, making it hard for them to get looks,” Morrill said. “I was real proud of our team with the energy we had, especially on the boards; just a fun one for our guys.”