Aggies drop to 0-2 in WAC play following 82-60 loss at Louisiana Tech Monday

RUSTON, La. – Magnum Rolle had game-highs with 21 points and 14 rebounds to lead Louisiana Tech to an easy 82-60 win against Utah State here Monday night. Louisiana Tech has now won seven straight games and improves to 2-0 in Western Athletic Conference play and 15-2 on the season with the win. The Bulldogs also snapped a four-game losing streak to Utah State. USU is now 10-6 on the season and 0-2 in league play with the loss. It is the second time in its five years in the WAC that USU has begun league play with a 0-2 record as it also began the 2006-07 season with a pair of road losses. Nate Bendall led Utah State with 14 points, six rebounds and four blocks, while Tyler Newbold added eight points, six rebounds and two steals. Jared Quayle had nine points. Jamel Guyton added 17 points for Louisiana Tech on 7-of-9 shooting, while Kyle Gibson scored 16 points. Olu Ashaolu and David Jackson each scored 11 points for the Bulldogs. Leading 34-20, Louisiana Tech began the second-half on a 14-2 run and led 48-22 with over 16 minutes to play in the game. LTU later took its largest lead of the game at 61-28 following a layup form DeAndre Brown with 12:46 remaining and the Bulldogs coasted to the win. Utah State finished the game by shooting 43.1 percent from the field (25-58), but made just 3-of-13 three-pointers (.231). USU did convert 7-of-9 free throws (.778), but was dominated on the glass, 40-27. Louisiana Tech shot 53.3 percent overall, including 50.0 percent from behind the arc (7-of-14) and 11-of-15 from the charity stripe (.733). In the first-half, Utah State made just two jump shots on three-pointers from Newbold and Quayle and was 8-of-26 from the field (.308). Bendall led Utah State with eight first-half points to go along with four blocked shots. Gibson had nine points in the first half for Louisiana Tech, while Rolle had eight points and 10 boards in the first 20 minutes. LTU shot 41.2 percent in the first half (14-34), including 44.4 percent from behind the arc (4-9). Utah State’s only lead of the game came via a layup from Bendall on the Aggies’ second possession for a 2-0 lead. Following a three-pointer from Newbold to make the score 13-9 in favor of the home team, Louisiana Tech went on a 13-4 run to double up USU at 26-13 with 7:00 minutes remaining in the half. LTU’s largest lead of the half was 17 following a layup from Gibson and the Bulldogs took a 34-20 lead into the locker room after Quayle hit a three-pointer just before the half. Utah State will take the week off before returning to action on Monday, Jan. 11 when it hosts Hawai’i in its home WAC opener at 7 p.m.

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