LOGAN, Utah – A 12-0 first-half run, combined with Preston Medlin and Jarred Shaw netting 18 points apiece while Kyle Davis added 12 points in his return to action, boosted Utah State men’s basketball to a 71-60 win over Utah Valley Saturday night at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
USU snapped a two-game losing streak in improving to 6-2 on the season. UVU had its two-game winning streak halted and is 4-6 overall, as the Wolverines are now 0-6 on the road this season. With the win Saturday, Utah State improved to 9-0 all-time against Utah Valley, as well as having won 29 straight home games against in-state opponents and is 31-1 all-time at home teams from the state of Utah under head coach Stew Morrill.
Medlin, a senior guard, drained a season-high five three-pointers as part of 5-of-9 shooting from the field, as well as 3-of-3 at the free throw line for his 18 points, tying his second-most this season. Medlin now has 1,082 career points, moving up to No. 28 on USU’s all-time scoring list, passing former teammate Gary Wilkinson (1,065) along with Nate Williams (1,080) points.
Senior center Shaw posted his 18 points on 9-of-14 field goal shooting, adding seven rebounds, one block and one assist. It was Shaw’s fifth-straight game in double-digits. Sophomore forward Davis returned to the lineup after missing USU’s last game against Pacific with an injury, and notched 12 points of 4-of-5 field goals and 4-of-6 at the free throw line, adding seven rebounds, two blocks and two assists.
Shaw and Davis’s rebounding efforts were joined by six by senior guard/forward Spencer Butterfield, while junior forward Danny Berger added five, helping USU to a dominating 39-21 rebounding advantage. The Aggies have now had a double-digit rebounding advantage four times this season.
Butterfield dished out a season-high six assists, while Medlin also distributed five helpers, propelling USU to a season-high 23 assists.
Butterfield and Berger also tallied five points apiece, as did senior guard TeNale Roland and freshman forward Jalen Moore, as nine different Aggie players scored and all 13 players in uniform saw action.
Utah Valley was led by 21 points by Holton Hunsaker, while Hayes Garrity added 17 points off the bench and Zach Nelson tallied 10 points, go to with a team-high tying five rebounds, matching Brenden Evans.
The Aggies shot 49.1 percent (27-of-55) from the field for the night, netting 8-of-22 (36.4 percent) of their three-pointers, as well as 9-of-14 (64.3 percent) at the free throw line. The Wolverines made 40.5 percent (17-of-42) of their field goals, as well as 4-of-14 (28.6 percent) behind the arc and 22-of-30 (73.3 percent) at the charity stripe.
USU led from start-to-finish, jumping out to a 10-2 lead just over three minutes into the game after a three-pointer by Medlin. After a UVU bucket made the score 10-4, the Aggies went on a 12-0 run, started by a Butterfield jumper and capped by a Moore jumper for a 22-4 lead at the 11:28 mark. A layup by Davis later gave USU its first 20+ point lead of the night at 27-6 with 8:37 to go. UVU got within 30-13 at the 7:00 mark after a Hunsaker layup. However, Utah State stretched the lead back to 46-23 at the half, for the Aggies’ largest halftime lead this season, as well as tying their most points scored in a first half, matching 46 against another in-state foe, Southern Utah on Nov. 12. By limiting the Wolverines to 23 first-half points, it was the Aggies’ fewest allowed in the any half this season.
The Aggie advantage swelled to its largest of the night at 28 as USU doubled-up UVU, 56-28, following a jumper by Shaw with 16:55 on the second-half clock, and Utah State coasted for the rest of the game, getting some of its reserves minutes.
Utah State plays games three, four and five of its season-long six-game homestand by hosting the Basketball Travelers, Inc. Classic, Sponsored by Gossner Foods on Thursday-Saturday, Dec. 19-21. USU welcomes Troy, UC Santa Barbara and Western Illinois to the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. The UC Santa Barbara Gauchos and Troy Trojans will open the Classic in a 5:30 p.m. tip-off on Thursday, Dec. 19, followed by the Aggies against the Leathernecks at 8 p.m. On Friday, Dec. 20, Western Illinois and Troy will tangle at 5:30 p.m. before USU faces off with UC Santa Barbara at 8 p.m. The Classic concludes on Saturday, Dec. 21 with the Leathernecks and Gauchos squaring off at 5:30 p.m. before the Aggies tangle with the Trojans at 8 p.m.
USU men’s basketball single-game, multi-game and season tickets are on sale. All single-game tickets will go on sale two weeks prior to each game. Single-game tickets will cost $18 for non-priority and $20 for priority, as well as $25 for premium game against UNLV (Feb. 15).
To order a package or for more Aggie men’s basketball ticket information, fans can contact the USU Athletics Ticket Office over the phone by calling 1-888-USTATE-1 or 435-797-0305 during regular hours of operation. Fans can also buy their tickets in person at the USU Ticket Office inside the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum or online by clicking on the “Buy Tickets” tab at www.UtahStateAggies.com.
Fans can follow the Aggie men’s basketball program at twitter.com/AggieHoops. USU fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program at twitter.com/USUAthletics, on facebook at Utah State University Athletics or on instagram at instagram.com/USUAthletics.