The Utah State Aggies picked up a huge victory over the Nevada Wolf Pack in front of a national TV audience late Wednesday night, winning by a convincing margin of 67-45. After going into the halftime break with a slim lead, USU distanced themselves from the Wolf Pack on the way to their 16th straight win.”Coach kind of got into us at half time. He said that we weren’t playing with enough energy,” point guard Brockeith Pane said. “He kind of got into us, and we just came out and played with more heart and more aggression. We just wanted it more.”After a back-and-forth first half that saw seven lead changes, USU went into the intermission with a tight 29-28 lead over the visiting Wolf Pack. The Aggies, who went into the game ranked 21st in the country, came out with a lot of energy to start the second half. USU took a 32-28 lead off of a Pooh Williams three point basket, and never looked back. The Aggies slowly started to pull away from Nevada, until the Spectrum crowd exploded following a block by forward Brady Jardine at the 13:00 mark. The crowd, which was announced as 9,837 strong, reached a deafening racket that was capped off by a slam-dunk by forward Tai Wesley. Jardine spoke of the pleasure of playing in such a loud environment.”It’s so fun. That’s why you play sports,” Jardine said when asked about the crowd. “… We were trying to talk to each other on defense, and I just stopped talking, because we couldn’t hear anything that was going on. It’s a blast. We are grateful to our fans, and for all that they do. That is why it is one of the best venues in the country.”Jardine played a huge role in the victory, as he provided some much-needed energy for the Aggies. The junior came off of the bench to have a huge game, scoring 14 points on 6-10 shooting, to go along with nine rebounds, two blocks, and two steals in a very efficient 20 minutes of playing time. Jardine was very instrumental in helping to defend Wolf Pack post player Dario Hunt, who was held to seven points on 3-9 shooting. Aggie head coach Stew Morrill praised Jardine for his play following the game.”Brady is active. He gives us that energy off the bench… We expect Brady to rebound, we expect him to get the boards, and he had some good offensive plays, too. It was nice to see,” Morrill said.Brockeith Pane provided many quality offensive plays for the Aggies as well. The junior point guard was extremely aggressive, especially in the first half. He took the ball to the rim on numerous occasions, as he scored a game-high 18 points, in addition to dishing out three assists. Pane was successful in penetrating against Nevada’s zone defense, as he either made lay-ups or got fouled on shot attempts. Pane went 6-9 from the charity stripe.The Aggies were able to defend the Wolf Pack vigorously, holding Nevada to a 32% shooting clip. USU forced 13 turn-overs, and made the most of these opportunities, scoring 19 points off of Nevada turn-overs. Utah State also rebounded the ball well, winning that margin 42-33, despite Nevada having the clear size advantage. Coach Morrill was very pleased in his team’s performance in these two facets of the game.”We defended really well in the second half. We rebounded the heck out of the ball. Those two areas have been pretty consistent for us, and hopefully that will continue. Some nights we shoot the ball better than others. We didn’t have a great shooting night, but if you win by twenty while not having a great shooting night, that’s okay,” said Morrill.The Aggies will now have a few days of preparation, as they get ready to take on Boise State at home on Saturday. Tip-off is slated for 7 PM.
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