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Utah State offense rolls in exhibition win

Sports Editor

Published: Monday, October 28, 2013

Updated: Monday, October 28, 2013 22:10

Jalen Moore

Samantha Behl

Freshman Jalen Moore puts up a shot against Central Methodist on Friday during USU's exhibition win.

The Utah State men’s basketball team came away with a 108-88 win over Central Methodist in its first exhibition of the season, but head coach Stew Morrill wasn’t pleased.

“Obviously, we've got a long way to go defensively,” Morrill said. “I don't remember the last time in an exhibition game we gave up those kind of numbers in points, field goal percentage, three-point field goal percentage, number of threes, guys getting beat of the dribble, guys getting threes shot in their face, all of the things that we have emphasized.”

The Aggies allowed the Eagles to shoot 56.3 percent for the game, including 65.2 percent in the second half. Central Methodist also shot a blistering 61.9 percent from 3-point range.

USU also committed 27 fouls in the contest, which Morrill said is no excuse.

"Oh yeah, they're going to call it tight, but that's just a cop out,” Morrill said. “You can't move your feet, you can't get a hand on a shooter. They're going to call it really tight and that's definitely what's going on out there, but that's a cop out for us. That just was horrendous; I don't know any other word."

Fortunately for the Aggies, an offensive onslaught kept them one step ahead and USU avoided its first exhibition loss in six years.

Senior guard Preston Medlin, back from a wrist injury that caused him to miss half of last season, showed why he is considered the team leader with his performance, putting up 22 points and six assists — both team-highs — while committing no turnovers or fouls.

“It's awesome; it was fun to be back in the Spectrum, just to actually to get out there and play. It's so much fun, and I just love Utah State,” Medlin said. “I started shooting again in the gym in June. It's just like riding a bike or tying your shoes it comes back, the hand feels great."

Fellow senior Spencer Butterfield also broke the 20-point plateau, finishing with 20 points on 7-of-9 shooting while dishing out four assists, while Jarred Shaw added 15 points.

"I think we've got a lot of different guys who can score. I don't think it always has to be those three. It gives us a pretty good set of guys who night-in-and-night-out might be able to score, but I think we've got some depth coming off the bench,” Morrill said. “Offensively we're OK right now, we're OK. I think we're going to rebound the ball pretty well because we're pretty active on the glass. Defensively though, we've got light years to go and not very much time to do it."

Danny Berger and Jalen Moore each finished with 10 points to give USU five players in double-digits.

The Aggies return to the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 1 against Adams State for their second and final exhibition game.

The regular season begins at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 8 at home against the University of Southern California.

Twitter: @CurtSport07

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