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USU team effort downs Redbirds

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Published: Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Updated: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 13:02

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JUNIOR GUARD SPENCER BUTTERFIELD scores during the Aggies’ 80-71 win Saturday over Illinois State in an ESPN Bracketbuster game. DELAYNE LOCKE photo

 

Illinois State senior guard Tyler Brown scored 35 points but it wasn’t enough to steal a win in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum as the Aggies beat the Redbirds 80-71 Saturday.

“We let Brown get five 3’s in the first half,” said Aggie junior point guard TeNale Roland. “He was getting hot. Credit to him, he’s a good player and he was able to knock down some open shots.”

Illinois State started off with a hot hand from 3-point range, jumping to a 21-10 lead after eight minutes.

“We weren’t guarding very well. We were really soft defensively,” said USU head coach Stew Morrill. “We just talked about getting up to them. We mixed in a little more zone, just to try and slow them down a little bit.”

The Aggies went on a 13-0 run to take the lead back on a Roland 3-pointer with 8:16 left in the first half.

“It was pretty physical,” said junior guard Spencer Butterfield. “It was good though. I mean, we responded. I think we were just as physical as they were, if not more physical. I think they were taken back by that a little bit.”

The Redbirds took 18 minutes 37 seconds before making a 2-pointer. Junior Allen Bryant hit a pull-up jumper at the top of the key to cut the USU lead to 34-30.

Twenty-four of ISU’s 32 halftime points came from 3-point shots.

Brown had seven 3-pointers to go along with his 10 rebounds in 31 minutes.

“He had an unbelievable night,” Morrill said. “We couldn’t do much about him.”

Senior forward Jackie Carmichael had little presence in the first half for Illinois State. The 6-foot-9, 240-pounder had six points before the break — four of them from the foul line.

“They are hard to guard because they have post presence,” said Illinois State head coach Dan Mueller. “We made plenty of defensive mistakes. The problem was that the mistakes came back to get us.”

There’s weren’t many blank spots in the Utah State stat sheet: Every Aggie who played recorded at least two field goals, two rebounds, six points and two assists.

“They are good,” Mueller said of USU. “I knew coming in that they were good. They are one of the better teams that we have played this year.”

The Aggies outrebounded ISU 40-35 with 17 of the boards falling into a guard’s hand.

“They were just bouncing my way tonight,” Roland said of his five rebounds. “Point guards don’t rebound too much. I don’t have to block out, so credit to me.”

Junior center Jarred Shaw had 18 points and 11 rebounds to lead four players in double-digit scoring for Utah State.

“We had a great team effort tonight,” Roland said. “I think everybody contributed. Everybody who played scored tonight. It was a great team win.”

Butterfield had 16 points and six rebounds while Roland had 13 points and five rebounds.

Carmichael and Brown combined for 55 points and 20 rebounds. Four Redbirds chipped in for the remaining 16 points.

The win brings Utah State to 19-7 and drops Illinois State to 16-13.

“It was a great game for us to play, to get out of conference and get our confidence back up,” Roland said. “Now we’ve got to get ready for La. Tech this week.”

Tipoff for USU’s next game on the road is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday in Ruston, La.

 

– tavin.stucki@aggiemail.usu.edu

Twitter: @StuckiAggies

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