Utah State 82, Boise State 78
LOGAN, Utah - Utah State head coach Stew Morrill became the winningest coach in school history with the Aggies' 82-78 victory over Boise State Thursday night in a Western Athletic Conference battle at Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. The win was Morrill's 226th at USU, passing E. Lowell Romney's (1920-41) 225 victories.
Senior All-American guard Jaycee Carroll netted a game-high 29 points, including 19 in the second half, giving him 2,126 career points and leaving him two shy of breaking USU's career scoring record, held by Greg Grant (1983-86) with 2,127 points.
Freshman forward Tyler Newbold (Payson, Utah) drained two free throws with 3.4 seconds remaining to seal the win, which was USU's eighth victory in a row. The Aggies improved to 13-5 overall and 3-0 in WAC play, maintaining their perch atop the conference standings.
The loss was Boise State's second in its last three outings as the Broncos fell to 12-5 overall and 3-2 in WAC action. The Broncos also had their six-game road winning streak snapped with the defeat.
USU improved to 14-0 at home against BSU and the last two games have had an Aggie winning advantage of a combined five points after last year's 80-79 win. Overall, Utah State has won 14 of the last 17 games in the series in improving to 20-6 all-time against Boise State.
Carroll, an Evanston, Wyo., native, drained five three-pointers as part of his 9-of-14 field goal shooting to go along with a 6-of-6 outing at the free throw line. He also tied Grant for the USU record for career starts with his 115th and passed Grant for the school record for minutes played as Carroll now has 3,938, passing Grant's 3,923.
Two other Aggies joined Carroll with double-figures as junior forward Gary Wilkinson (South Jordan, Utah) tied a career-high for the third time this season with 21 points while freshman forward Tai Wesley (Provo, Utah) netted 10 points.
The win was Stew Morrill's 226th at USU, passing E. Lowell Romney's (1920-41) 225 victories.
Senior guard Kris Clark (Wilmington, N.C.) also tied a career-high by dishing out 10 assists while Wilkinson snared a team-high seven rebounds as USU was out-rebounded, 32-25.
Boise State was led by Matt Bauscher's 24 points, including six three-pointers, while Tyler Tiedeman tallied 20 points. Reggie Larry had a double-double with 14 points and a game-high 12 rebounds and Matt Nelson tossed in 11.
The Broncos came into Thursday leading the NCAA in field goal percentage at 52.3 percent, but shot 48.3 percent (29-of-60), including 12-of-26 (46.2 percent) from three-point range.
Utah State made more free throws than Boise State attempted as the Aggies were 22-of-29 (75.9 percent) compared to just 8-of-11 (72.7 percent) for the Broncos.
After Boise State took an early 13-8 lead after a Bauscher three-pointer, Clark triggered a 16-2 USU spurt with a jumper that junior guard Desmond Stephens (Bloomington, Ind.) capped with a trey from the left wing for a 24-15 Aggie lead with 6:37 left in the opening half.
The Broncos charged back with eight unanswered to pull within, 26-25, but the Aggies pulled away for a 37-31 halftime lead.
The Broncos trimmed the deficit to one at 74-73 with 1:05 left after a Tiedeman jumper and then Carroll and Larry traded three-pointers, the later coming with 20.9 ticks on the clock.
Clark was fouled on the in bounds pass, and made both ensuing free pitches with 20.1 left. Bauscher hit a pair of free throws with 14.7 seconds and then Clark hit one-of-two at the charity stripe with 14.2 ticks, followed by Newbold's two free shots to secure the win.
Nevada 69, Idaho 61
RENO, Nev. (AP) -Freshman Armon Johnson scored a career high-tying 23 points to lead Nevada over Idaho 69-61 in a Western Athletic Conference game on Thursday.
Senior Marcelus Kemp scored 18 points and sophomores JaVale McGee and Brandon Fields had 13 apiece for the Wolf Pack (10-6, 2-1 WAC).
Jordan Brooks had 20 points and Michael Crowell 16 for the Vandals (4-12, 1-4 WAC), who stayed close throughout the second half.
Nevada led by nine points several times in the second half, the last at 56-47 with 6:52 to play on a pair of free throws by Fields.
Clyde Johnson hit a pair of 3-point baskets around a free throw by McGee to pull the Vandals to within 4 at 57-53 with 5:28 left, but could get no closer.
Armon Johnson hit 7 of 8 free throws down the stretch for the Wolf Pack. He was 10 of 12 from the line for the game.
Nevada trailed 23-22 with 6:27 left in the first half, but went on a 13-5 run to lead 36-27 at halftime.
The two teams combining for 46 fouls. Nevada hit 23 of 33 free throws, while Idaho hit only 10 of 22.
The Wolf Pack dominated the boards, outrebounding the Vandals 41-28. Senior Demarshay Johnson had 11 rebounds, six of them offensive, for Nevada.
San Jose State 69, Fresno State 65
San Jose, Calif. - San Jose State University put four players in double-figure scoring and made an early second-half advantage hold up for the remainder of the game in topping Fresno State, 69-65, in Western Athletic Conference men’s basketball action at The Event Center on Thursday, January 17.
Concluding a stretch of eight games over a span of 21 days, the Spartans go back above the .500 mark overall at 9-8, and improve to 2-3 in the WAC. Fresno State falls to an even 9-9 overall and 2-2 in league play.
The result marked the Spartans’ second straight win over the rival Bulldogs inside The Event Center following a 64-61 decision on January 13, 2007.
Playing its first game of the year without redshirt freshman point guard and leading scorer, Justin Graham, who was injured during the first half three nights earlier at Hawai’i, San Jose State got 14 points from his replacement in the starting lineup, senior Jamon Hill. DaShawn Wright (14), C.J. Webster (12) and Chris Oakes (11) also contributed to a balanced scoring attack, with Tim Pierce scoring nine and Mac Peterson adding seven points off the bench. Hill’s stellar night included a season-high seven rebounds to share the team high with Wright, as well as four assists and two steals over 36 minutes. Peterson also dished out four assists.
San Jose State shot 51.1 percent (24-for-47) from the field on the night to just 40 percent for Fresno State.
A back-and-forth first half featured three ties and five lead changes. Down 8-4, the Spartans tie it on a Webster basket and two Oakes free throws. Peterson answered a three-point play by Fresno State’s Kevin Bell with a deep three-pointer for 11-11. A three-point play by Webster, the reigning WAC Player of the Week, gave the Spartans a 17-15 edge with 11:27 left in the half. Consecutive jumpers by Wright and Peterson made it 21-15 before a three-pointer by Nedeljko Golubovic for the Bulldogs.
Two free throws by Oliver Caballero, a Hill jumper and Pierce’s only three-pointer of the night gave the Spartans their largest lead of the period at 28-20, but Fresno State immediately produced a 7-0 run of its own, with a basket and three-pointer coming from Hector Hernandez, for 28-27. Hill kept the hot hand for San Jose State with another jumper for a 30-27 cushion.
Hernandez led all scorers at the break with 11, while Hill was 5-for-7 from the field for a team-high 10 points, to go along with team highs of four rebounds and two assists.
Following a Pierce free throw, consecutive fast-break buckets by Tyson Parker and Bell tied the score a fifth time for the half at 31-31 heading into the final minute of play. Hill and Bell traded baskets the rest of the way for a 33-33 halftime score.
San Jose State scored the first points of the half via a three-point play by Pierce, only to have Parker answer with a three-pointer. After Hill and Alex Blair exchanged single free throws, the Spartans got successive lay-ups by Webster and Pierce for a 41-37 advantage. They maintained that lead through the middle stages of the second half, extending it to as many as seven points, including once on a forceful dunk by Oakes for 53-46 at the 9:53 mark.
Oakes later hit two free throws and added a basket around a Blair score for 57-50, before an Eddie Miller three-pointer and pair of Bell free throws pulled the visiting Bulldogs to within just two points at 57-55. Oakes tacked on another free throw, and following a Golubovic basket, Wright stepped up to hit back-to-back jumpers, the first from around the free throw line and the second from the right wing, to make it a 62-57 lead with less than four minutes remaining.
Bell parlayed a steal into an easy lay-up for 62-59, but Wright did not let up, hitting a third straight jumper for 64-59.
Hernandez, who was held to just four points after halftime, knocked down two free throws to make it 64-61 heading into the final minute of play. After Peterson missed the front end from the free throw line with 48 seconds left, Miller missed his three-point attempt and Lance Holloway grabbed the rebound.
Webster converted both of his free throws, but Bell slashed into the lane for a lay-up to keep Fresno State alive, down 66-63 with 20.6 seconds showing on the scoreboard. Peterson hit the second of two free throws. Parker’s three-pointer missed the target, with Wright grabbing the rebound and hitting both free throws to put the result out of doubt at 69-63.