Medlin Paces Three USU Players In Double-Digits As Aggies Lead From Start-To-Finish For First 4-0 Starts Since 2008-09
USU Sports Information
LOGAN, Utah – Senior guard Preston Medlin led three players in double-figure scoring with a game-high 21 points to pace Utah State men’s basketball to an 87-68 win over Mississippi State, as the Aggies led from tip-off to final buzzer Saturday night at a spirited Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
USU is 4-0 to start a season for the first time in six years (2008-09) and for the fifth time in Stew Morrill’s 16 seasons as head coach. Overall, the Aggies are off to their 29th 4-0 start in the 109 years of men’s basketball.
Mississippi State suffered its first loss of the season in falling to 3-1 on the year as the Bulldogs were playing their first road game of the season. USU is now 1-1 all-time vs. MSU, avenging a 66-64 loss at Starkville, Miss., on Dec. 31, 2011.
The Bulldogs were also the first Southeastern Conference opponent to visit Logan since 1985, and only the fourth SEC team to ever play at USU, and the Aggies are now 3-1 at home vs. the SEC.
Medlin netted 21 points Saturday night, hitting 4-of-7 from three-point range, marking his second game in a row with four treys, scoring in double-figures for the third time this year and 48th time in his career. Medlin now has 1,032 points in his career to rank 32nd all-time in school history.
Senior center Jarred Shaw added 17 points and eight rebounds, including scoring the Aggies’ first six points of the night. Fellow senior guard/forward Spencer Butterfield tallied 16 points and six boards, hitting 3-of-5 from three-point range.
Freshman forward Jalen Moore nearly posted his first career double-double, logging nine points and eight rebounds off the bench, helping USU to a 24-19 bench points edge. Junior center Jordan Stone registered four points and a career-high two steals to go with six rebounds, helping USU to a controlling 41-23 rebounding advantage, as the Aggies have out-rebounded their last three opponents, all by double-digits.
Medlin also dished out a season-high six assists, while sophomore guard Marcel Davis distributed four helpers, part of USU’s 19 assists on the night.
Mississippi State had four players in double-figure scoring, led by Gavin Ware’s double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds, while Colin Borchert posted 15 points, Craig Sword scored 11 and Dre Applewhite tossed in 10 off the bench. Trivante Bloodman dished out six assists, while Sword tallied five helpers.
USU shot 28-of-54 (51.9 percent) from the field, its second game this season making over half of its field goals. The Aggies also hit a season-high 11 three-pointers to finish 47.8 percent (11-of-23) from behind the arc. USU was also 20-of-27 (74.1 percent) at the free throw line.
MSU made 45.6 percent (26-of-57) of its field goals, including 31.3 percent (5-of-16) from three-point range. The Bulldogs were also 64.7 percent (11-of-17) at the charity stripe.
USU led from start-to-finish Saturday, opening a 6-2 lead behind three long jumpers from Shaw. MSU closed to 17-16 after a three-pointer by Jacoby Davis at 9:12 but then the Aggies went on a 7-0 spurt, started by a pair of Shaw free throws, then a trey and layup by Butterfield for a 24-16 lead with 7:29 left in the half, and the Bulldogs took a timeout. MSU whittled the deficit to 25-22 after a three-point play by Sword, but that would be the closest they would get the night, as the Aggies closed out the half with a 16-6 run, started and ended by Medlin three-pointers to send USU into halftime with a 41-28 lead. With the win, has led at the break in all four games this season and has won 88 of its last 90 games when leading at the half and is now 295-25 over the last 15 years when leading at intermission.
The Bulldogs clawed away at the gap and got it down to eight at 51-43 with 14:29 to go on a pair of Ware free throws. However they wouldn’t get any closer as a 10-0 Aggie run started by a bucket by Moore and capped by an up-and-under layup from Davis exactly 3:00 later gave USU a 61-43 lead, its largest advantage of the night and the Aggies led by double-digits the rest of the game. A layup by freshman guard JoJo McGlaston with 33 seconds left gave USU its first 20-point lead and its largest lead of the night at 87-66 before Applewhite had a tip-in with 11 ticks left for the final margin.
Utah State continues its three games in seven days stretch by playing at in-state foe Weber State on Tuesday, Nov. 26. Tip-off from WSU’s Dee Events Center is slated for 7:30 p.m. (MT). The Aggies then play another in-state foe, facing BYU on Saturday, Nov. 30 at the Energy Solutions Arena in Salt Lake City in a 7 p.m. tip-off. The USU-WSU game will not be televised, but the Aggies-Cougars clash will be televised by BYU-TV.
The Aggies then open the month of December by hosting Pacific on Saturday, Dec. 7 at 7 p.m.