SUU Falls at Utah State, 90-57
LOGAN, Utah, 11/12/13 – Southern Utah (1-1) fell to in-state opponent Utah State (2-0) by a final score of 90-57 Monday night. The Aggies shot over 58 percent from the field and doubled up the Thunderbirds on the glass by a count of 44-22 to pull away for the win.
"Their 11 offensive rebounds and 22 second-chance points had a big impact on this game, but they're a good basketball team and they're just going to get better,” stated SUU head coach Nick Robinson. “For us, we've got to continue to improve and continue to learn from this experience, especially for our young guys."
The Aggies hit 12 of their first 17 shots, including 3-3 from beyond the arc, to open a 36-15 lead in the opening period. Senior center Jared Shaw got things going for USU, putting up 10 points and three rebounds early on, while Cal Hanks provided the offense for Southern Utah, starting the night 3-3 from the field for six quick points.
The Thunderbirds narrowed the margin with a 9-1 run that brought the score to 37-24 in the final minutes of the half, but the Aggies extended their advantage to 46-26 as senior Spencer Butterfield dropped in a pair of layups heading into the break. Utah State held a 23-11 edge on the boards over the first 20 minutes, with SUU leading in bench points, 14-11.
Southern Utah came up with two quick baskets to start the second, but back-to-back scores for Jordan Stone pushed the Aggies lead back to 60-38 with 14:21 left to play. The deficit grew to 31 points with just under five minutes remaining and the final count eventually came out to 90-57 in favor of Utah State.
"Outside of the score, it was a great experience for our basketball team," commented Robinson. "I felt like we did a good job executing our offense. To have seven turnovers in an environment like this for 40 minutes is a real positive we can take away from this game.”
Utah State shot 58 percent from the floor, while hitting 5-8 from the outside. Southern Utah made 30.2 percent of its tries and was 3-15 from the 3-point line. Shaw finished with a game-high 24 points to go along with 10 rebounds. Freshman guard Trey Kennedy paced the Thunderbirds with 11 points and hit two 3-pointers, with Hanks adding another 10 for SUU.
"Making shots is going to be the most important for us. Secondly, our ability to finish our defense,” explained Robison. “I thought we did a decent job at contesting shots. Our emphasis was the 3-point line, they only shot eight of them, but they got a lot of points in the paint."
Up next for the Thunderbirds is a trip to west coast for a matchup with Pac-12 opponent California. SUU will tip things off against the Bears next Monday at 9:00 p.m. Coverage of Southern Utah basketball is available online at www.suutbirds.com.