Butterfield lifts Aggies to 3rd Straight
Published: Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, February 12, 2013 13:02
A strong first half lifted the Utah State men’s basketball team to a 63-36 rout of San Jose State on Friday, fueled by a game-high 22 points from junior Spencer Butterfield.
It was the fifth consecutive double-double for the California native, who was named WAC men’s basketball player of the week for his performance.
“We’re enjoying playing basketball,” said head coach Stew Morrill. “We’re playing really hard. You have to be pleased coming here and holding San Jose down. They’re having some trouble scoring right now, but we were part of the problem tonight.”
The Aggies used a 16-0 run in the first half to blow the game open and never looked back.
Five different USU players scored during the run, which included six points from Butterfield. A layup from Ben Clifford started the run and the Aggies got a pair of 3-pointers from Marvin Jean and Marcel Davis and a jumper from Matt Lopez.
“I think the major key was our defense,” Butterfield said. “We were confusing them by switching up the defenses between zone and man and press. It was hard for them to find a rhythm.”
Junior Jarred Shaw and freshman Marcel Davis each added 12 points as the Aggies shot 51.9 percent from the field — including a solid 47.1 percent from the 3-point line — while limiting the Spartans to 26.5 percent.
For the second time in as many games, the Aggies held their opponents to a season low in scoring after allowing 46 points to Seattle last Saturday.
“We were working hard in those games we were losing, but some of our shots just weren’t falling,” Butterfield said. “But now our shots are starting to fall, we’re getting more confident and getting used to playing together.”
USU improved 17-5 overall and 8-4 in WAC play with its third consecutive win while SJSU fell to 9-14 and 3-9 in conference after suffering its eighth straight loss and 12th straight to the Aggies.
Utah State returns to the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum on Thursday, Feb. 14 to host Denver. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.
“We’ve got a tough week coming up with Denver and New Mexico State coming into the Spectrum, but our guys will be excited about it and hopefully we can get a good week of practices in,” Morrill said.