St. Mary's outpaces Aggie basketball team
Published: Thursday, November 15, 2012
Updated: Friday, November 16, 2012 15:11
In a rematch of last season’s ESPN Bracket Buster, the Utah State men’s basketball team came up short in its comeback attempt in a 67-58 defeat to Saint Mary's on Thursday at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
“I think we’re going to have a really good basketball team,” USU head coach Stew Morrill said. “I really do. I’m not gloom and doom at all after that game, and I don't want our kids to be. We just couldn’t make shots.”
The Aggies started fast, jumping out to a 6-0 lead before the Gaels could find their footing. But led by senior guard Matthew Dellavedova, Saint Mary’s stormed back.
A 3-point barrage kept the Gaels within striking distance despite being dominated on the boards by the Aggie big men. Jarred Shaw and Kyisean Reed led the inside attack which saw the Aggies out-rebound the Gaels 22-11 in the first 20 minutes.
However, USU mustered just seven second chance points off of 13 offensive rebounds and trailed at the half 34-31.
“This is a game we did it on the boards, we just didn’t shoot the ball well,” Reed said. “From anywhere really; It could have been anything. I don’t think we could have thrown the ball in the ocean tonight, standing on the beach in the sand. It was just one of those nights where we couldn’t make shots.”
The Gaels came out strong in the second half and continued to hit from beyond the arc as Dellavedova had little trouble penetrating and finding teammates for open looks.
The 6-foot-4 Australian finished with 21 points and three assists, including 6-of-6 from the free throw line in the second half.
“They’ve got an NBA player at the point guard,” Morrill said. “He’s something special and he did a great job of controlling that game. He makes plays for everybody, including himself.”
After starting 2-of-9 from the charity stripe, the Gaels hit free throws down the stretch and finished 16-of-23 on the night. The Aggies won the battle on the boards in convincing fashion, 49-30 including 24 offensive rebounds, but it wasn’t enough to overcome a poor shooting night as USU shot a season-low 32.3 percent.
It was the ninth-overall meeting between the two squads, with the road team winning each of the last three. The Aggies now hold a 5-4 series advantage after the loss Thursday.
“When you shoot that poor percentage it’s really hard to win,” Morrill said. “Especially against a really good team... Give them credit. They’re as good as advertised.”
Utah State fell to 1-1 overall this season, while St. Mary’s improved to 2-0. The Aggies will look to bounce back against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Spectrum.