WAC Men's Basketball Recaps - Feb. 24
LOGAN, Utah -(USU Media Relations) Sophomore guard Preston Medlin scored a career-high 32 points, including an amazing 27 during the second-half alone, in single-handedly leading Utah State to a come-from-behind 67-50 win against Idaho inside the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum Friday night as USU recognized its three seniors in forwards Morgan Grim and Brady Jardine, along with guard Brockeith Pane.
In all, Utah State finished the game on a 53-21 run during the final 23 minutes as it out-scored Idaho 45-21 in the second-half and wrapped up the first half with an 8-0 run after trailing 29-14.
With the win, Utah State improves to 15-14 on the season and evens its WAC ledger at 6-6. Idaho, who had its season-high five-game winning streak snapped with the loss, falls to 16-12 overall and 7-5 in league play. USU also notched its 500th all-time win inside the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum Friday as it is now 500-110 (.820) in this its 42nd season playing inside the facility, including a 206-17 (.924) record in 14 years under head coach Stew Morrill.
Medlin, who finished the night shooting 11-of-13 from the field, 6-of-8 from three-point range and 4-for-5 at the free throw line, single-handedly out-scored Idaho in the second-half as the Vandals had just 21 points after scoring 29 in the first-half. During the final 20 minutes, Medlin was 9-of-9 from the field and 5-of-5 from behind the arc, as his only miss came at the free throw line where he went 4-for-5.
Those 32 points for Medlin are the most scored by an Aggie since Gary Wilkinson had 33 points in an 83-77 overtime win at Fresno State on Jan. 31, 2009.
Senior point guard Brockeith Pane also scored in double-figures for Utah State as he finished the game with 12 points and seven assists, while Medlin added eight rebounds and five assists. Grim also had eight rebounds for Utah State to go along with six points, while sophomore guard/forward Danny Berger grabbed a career-high eight rebounds.
Senior guard Deremy Geiger, who spent his freshman season at Utah State, was the only Idaho player to score in double-figures with 13 points.
Utah State shot a blistering 75.0 percent from the field (15-20) and 71.4 percent from three-point range (5-7) in the second-half, while converting 10-of-13 (.769) free throws after intermission. Overall, USU shot 46.2 percent for the game (24-52), including 47.4 percent from three (9-19) and 76.9 percent at the line (10-13).
After making 10 of its first 19 shots, Idaho finished the game shooting just 36.0 percent from the field (18-50) and made just eight of its final 31 attempts. UI was also 6-of-15 (.400) from behind the arc and 8-of-15 (.533) at the free throw line overall. USU also out-rebounded its seventh opponent in its last eight games as it had a 36-30 advantage on the boards against the Vandals.
Idaho scored the first five points of the game and took a quick 10-2 lead before Utah State got five quick points from Medlin to get within three at 10-7. The Vandals then out-scored the Aggies 19-7 over the next six-plus minutes to take a commanding 29-14 lead with 4:19 to go in the half following a Geiger jumper. USU then closed the half on an 8-0 run in the final three minutes as Pane hit back-to-back three-pointers and freshman forward Ben Clifford added a layup to get the home team within 29-22 at the break.
Utah State began the second-half on a 6-0 run as Grim scored four points and Medlin added two to get USU within one at 29-28. USU then took its first lead of the night with 16:32 to play on a three-pointer from Medlin to make the score 34-32 and extended its advantage to eight at 42-34 with 12:31 remaining following a pair of free throws from Pane. Utah State continued to pull away from Idaho as it later led by 16 at 57-41 with 7:21 remaining following 11 straight points from Medlin. The Aggies largest lead of the night came with 2:32 to play following a free throw from Berger to make the score 64-46 and Medlin capped the night with a three-pointer with 1:05 left to make the final score 67-50.
Utah State will conclude its regular season next week with a pair of WAC road games at San Jose State on Thursday, Mar. 1 and at Hawai'i on Saturday, Mar. 3.