Road woes continue for short-handed USU
Published: Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, March 5, 2013 14:03
The woes continued for the injury-ridden Utah State men’s basketball team on its final road trip of the season. Down to seven players, the Aggies suffered a 61-46 loss to the University of Texas-Arlington on Saturday.
“We were inept offensively,” said USU head coach Stew Morrill. “We were totally inept. It’s really frustrating. You have to be a basketball player at a Division 1 level and make a basket. We played hard defensively, we played well enough defensively and well enough on the boards to have a chance to win, but we were totally inept offensively.”
Playing without Spencer Butterfield, who was injured Thursday against Louisiana Tech, the Aggies struggled shooting the ball and the Mavericks used an 11-0 run in the early part of the second half to turn a their halftime lead into a 41-26 advantage.
USU shot 30 percent from the field and committed 16 turnovers, leading to 15 Maverick points including a game-high 21 from Kevin Butler.
Marcel Davis scored a team-high 15 points to lead the Aggies, TeNale Roland scored 12 and Jarred Shaw added 11 in USU’s first trip to Arlington.
“I think we played good at times and bad at times,” Davis said. “We need to take care of the ball. A lot of our turnovers were dumb. The ball would slip out of our hands or dribbled off our own leg. It was unforced turnovers.”
It was the second consecutive game in which USU failed to shoot at least 40 percent after hitting 38 percent against the Bulldogs on Thursday. Butterfield re-injured his hip against Louisiana Tech and was carried off and taken to the locker room.
Butterfield was the seventh Aggie to be injured or leave the team this season, something Morrill said shouldn’t be an issue.
“I know we don’t have all of our people,” Morrill said. “I’m very well aware of that, but the people that got have been recruited to Utah State to play basketball. They have to believe they can play.”
But despite the lack of offense and the plethora of injuries, Davis said the Aggies will grit it out.
“We got here as a team so we’re going to stay in it as a team,” Davis said.
The 46 points was a season low output for the Aggies, who fell to 1-2 all-time against the Mavericks.
Utah State fell to 19-9 overall – including 7-5 on the road – and 9-7 in WAC play, remaining in the fifth spot leading up to the WAC tournament. The Aggies and Mavericks will face each other in the first round.
“They’re Division 1 scholarship basketball players,” Morrill said. “Step up and play better offense than that. You can tell I’m not happy. That to me was just inept. I don’t know how else to put it.”
Utah State concludes the regular season with a pair of home games against UTSA and Texas State on Thursday, March 7 and Saturday March 9. Tipoff for both games is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.