The Utah State Aggies defeated a former Big West foe by a large margin, as they beat Cal State Fullerton 83-60. It was USU’s second win in as many nights. The Aggies are hosting the Gossner Basketball Traveler’s Invitational, which will conclude Wednesday night.”I felt like we played pretty well,” head coach Stew Morrill said following the game. “We shot the ball well, we held them down, and we out-rebounded them.”Utah State got out to a hot start from behind the three point line, using outside shots to pull away from the Titans right from the get-go. The Aggies went up by a score of 30-7 with just inside 10 minutes left in the first half, and the men in blue never looked back. USU would finish 9-15 from long distance, after starting out 7-10. “I thought we started the game well, and that got us going,” Morrill said. “For whatever reason, they decided to come out and zone us… We just got rolling against the zone.”The Aggies played an extremely productive game offensively. USU had 24 assists and 12 turnovers, and shot 58% from the field. Four players scored in double figures; Tai Wesley had 13 points, and Pooh Williams, Nate Bendall, and Jared Quayle had 12 points each. The production from the starters allowed Coach Morrill to go to his bench early and often, as all twelve players on the Aggies active roster saw playing time. “A lot of guys contributed. A lot of guys played pretty well,” said Morrill. “That was encouraging, so we will see where that takes us tommorow night… A lot of guys scored, a lot of guys contributed. It’s nice to get everybody in the game.””It was really good,” said junior guard Pooh Williams. “Our starters got a lot of rest, so we will be energetic for tommorow.”Williams broke out of his recent slump with a strong offensive display agianst Fullerton. He shot well, going 4-6 from the field including 2-3 from behind the arch. Williams also got his teammates involved, dishing out six assists to match his career high. The defensive shut-down specialist capped off his solid showing with an emphatic dunk off of a backdoor lob pass from Brady Jardine with 5:15 left in the game..”It (the alley-oop) is a set play, but it’s not really open a lot,” Williams said. “Teams scout that play out, but they kinda slept on it tonight, so it was open.””If I play hard on defense, and focus on guarding my man, then shots will come to me. Coach always tells me ‘If you play hard, you are going to knock shots down.’ That is just what happened for me tonight.”Utah State will now face Weber State Wednesday night for what is esentially the championship of the invitational. The two teams have already played each other, with USU picking up a road victory at Weber earlier in the season. The two in-state rivals are very familiar with each other, as Weber State’s head coach Randy Rahe spent many years as an assistant under Morrill at Utah State. Both teams run similar offenses, and it is expected to be a very defensive game. Weber State came from behind to beat Morehead State in the early game, winning 66-64.”We play a good Weber team… I am really impressed with them. They’ve improved a great deal since we last played them. We are going to have to play well.”
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