LOGAN – Utah State continued its unbeaten streak with a 34-point win over Idaho State at home. Senior guard Shane Rector led with 17 points, seven assists and five steals in the 85-51 win that improved the Aggies to 3-0.
USU head coach Tim Duryea said the visiting Bengals are a well coached team that is better than what they showed Saturday night.
“That’s a pretty solid Idaho State team,” he said. “We made them look like they had a very poor night … I was proud because I thought we had a lot to do with how they looked.”
Koby McEwen (16 points), Jalen Moore (13 points), Norbert Janicek (12 points) and Ngor Barnaba (10 points) joined Rector in scoring double digits. The Aggies were able to limit Idaho State’s top scorer, standout guard Ethan Telfair, to 14 points.
Before joining Idaho State, Telfair was also recruited by the Aggies. He came on a visit to Logan the same weekend as Rector’s original visit, but Rector said their relationship goes back even further.
Duryea called on Rector to guard Telfair again Friday night.
“He’s from New York, and I’ve been playing against him since I was 8 or 9,” Rector said. “It’s a friendly rivalry and its always good to get the better of a hometown rival. It felt good.”
Telfair was benched after being called for a technical foul with 13:44 left in the game and never returned to play. Moore sunk the technical free throw, which game him enough points to pass his father Jimmy Moore and become the 25th leading scorer all-time at USU. He now has 1,173 career points.
The younger Moore said passing his father meant a lot.
“I think he’s happy about it,” Moore said. “I’m happy about it, we’re both happy about it.”
Idaho State kept it close through the first 12 minutes, but the Aggies broke away on a 13-0 first-half run. The nearly six-minute run included six points from Barnaba, four from Rector and was capped off by a McEwen 3-pointer. It put USU up 40-27 at the break.
“It was a real good team effort,” Rector said. “We came out with a lot of intensity.”
Things got worse for the Bengals after the half. Rector’s two-straight steals coupled with four-straight points were part of an 8-0 second-half start. The Aggies only built on its lead after that.
“We got stops on defense,” Moore said. “We scored well. Everybody played well that played. It ended up being a blowout. Great way to end the homestretch.”
USU will now head to Mexico to take on No. 15 Purdue in the Cancun Challenge Tuesday night.
“To me they look beatable,” Moore said. “For us, we’ve got to go in there with the mindset we can actually beat them.”