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Free falling: Aggies in midst of rough conference patch

assistant sports editor

Published: Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Updated: Wednesday, January 29, 2014 23:01

Stew Morrill

Delayne Ripplinger

Stew Morrill is livid during USU's loss to San Diego State on Saturday.

The Utah State University men’s basketball team finished up a rough January with a 78-65 loss at home Tuesday to New Mexico. The loss was the team's sixth of the month compared to two wins. The Aggies were also 0-4 on the road in January.

The month started out with a one-point road loss to Air Force in the final game of center Jarred Shaw’s suspension. They were upset on the road 10 days later by Nevada.

“Any part of the game that is physical right now, we want no part of,” said head coach Stew Morrill after the Nevada loss. “And that’s just not been the makeup of Utah State basketball. We want no part of physicality. That should embarrass our guys a little bit. I’m not throwing any of our players under the bus. It’s my fault when our guys don’t play hard enough.”

The Aggies did have a win against Colorado State, an NCAA Tournament team last year, at home on Jan. 15, but that was their last win. They have now lost four-straight games: at Boise State, at UNLV, to San Diego State and to New Mexico. Their average loss margin has been 10.5 points in those games.

“We’ve just got to pull together. I mean, we have two choices: You can lay down and give up, or you can just keep fighting,” said guard Spencer Butterfield after an overtime loss to San Diego State. “The good thing about this team is that we keep fighting and we are going to keep fighting the rest of the season, and we are going to bounce back.”

The Aggies will try to get their first road win in 2014 on Saturday against Wyoming and will try to snap their four-game losing streak. So far for the Aggies, the transition into the Mountain West Conference has been vicious.

— dahdahjm@gmail.com
Twitter: @dahdahusu 

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