The Utah State Aggies scored early and often against their French-Canadian counterparts Saturday evening at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, as they trounced the Universite Laval Rogue-et-Or (Red-and-Gold) by a score of 93-51. “That exhibition game served it’s purpose,” USU head coach Stew Morrill said following the game. “It was nice to get out there and play somebody different than ourselves and get everybody a chance to get in front of our crowd a little bit. We played okay… We weren’t very good defensively in the second half. We played better defensively in the second half.” The Aggies got out to a hot start as a team offensively, as they jumped out to a 22-9 lead with some help from senior guard Brian Green, who hit back to back three point shots. The Aggies were a little more soft on defense in the first half than they would have liked to been, as they allowed Laval to shoot 42.9% in the first twenty minutes. However, this changed after the intermission, much to the pleasure of Coach Morrill. The Aggies focused in on defense more, as Laval shot 25% from the field. USU also forced 16 turnovers and was able to convert those turnovers into baskets through their transition game. Utah State was lead by junior forward Brady Jardine, who put up an impressive 11 points and 12 rebounds in just 21 minutes of playing time. The energetic post-player from Twin Falls, Idaho provided the Aggie crowd with some exciting moments, as he threw down a pair of empathetic dunks, including one in transition off of a nice Brian Green assist. Jardine was not completely satisfied with his team’s play. “I think it’s a work in progress,” Jardine said. “I think we did some things really well, and I think that we did some things poorly. I think that is expected at the start of the season. I think that is the good thing about having a veteran team; we realize that a fifty point win doesn’t mean anything because we have a long ways to go.” One thing that will be an emphasis in the exhibition game will be the play of incoming new players, specifically at the point guard position as the Aggies look to fill-in for Jared Quayle, who graduated last year. Against Laval, the Aggie point guards looked very good. Starter Brockieth Pane had a 16 points, and played very good defensively. Back-up James Walker III was also solid, as he scored six points and had seven assists in 14 minutes. “James did a really good job… we are going to need that this season,” Pane said when asked about the play from the two point guards. “We are going to backing up each other, and we are going to need to count on that. We are going to need to stick together, me and (Walker).” Laval was led offensively by Jerome Turcotte-Routhier, who had 17 points and seven rebounds in a losing effort. Jean-Francois Baulieu-Maheu had a team high 19 points, which was right in line with his season average of 19.4 points per game. Laval head coach Jacques Paiment was glad that his team was able to get some valuable experience in the Spectrum. “It’s great for our guys to come and play in an environment like this. We don’t get to see crowds like this one tonight very often. It’s also great to play against better teams… It’s never fun to get beat by 40, but I feel like our team played well in the first half.” USU will now ready themselves for another exhibition match-up, as Grand Canyon will travel to Logan for a game that is slated to tip-off at 7 PM on Friday, November 5th. This game will be the Aggies final exhibition.
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