A hot start and a valiant second half effort helped the Utah State men’s basketball team escape with a 77-71 win over Weber State on Tuesday in Ogden.
“<span>This is how these games always are – hard-fought, comes down to a few plays. We kind of got knocked on our keisters in the first half,” said USU head coach Stew Morrill. “We started out really well and then they just really got going and we couldn’t keep them contained. Usually both teams don’t play this good of offense because we know each other’s systems pretty well.”</span>
<span>The Aggies started 7-for-8 from the field to open a 14-5 lead, but the Wildcats answered and out-scored USU 28-17 the rest of the half to take a 33-31 lead into the break.</span>
Senior Jarred Shaw led all scorers in the first half with 12 points, but the Aggies’ post game struggled after he went to the bench with his second foul.
Jordan Stone also picked up three fouls, and the Wildcats effectively collapsed the interior for easy baskets.
<span>“We just off to a good start. They had a huge run in the first half,” Shaw said. “We were expecting the run, but we came back and fought tougher and had a good run in the second half. That helped us win.”</span>
The Wildcats defense also came up big in the first half, recording six blocks and disrupting USU’s offense.
But the tide turned in the second half as the Wildcats saw their three big men get in foul trouble. The Aggies capitalized with Shaw inside, as the Texas native finished with 20 points and two blocks.
Junior Kyle Davis also came up big in the second half for the Aggies, scoring 12 of his 16 points and pulling down 14 rebounds.
<span>“I definitely got some confidence during the second half, so that helps,” Davis said. “My teammates were finding me, I was in a great position and was able to finish which was positive. We really got it going.”</span>
<span>The Aggies improved to 5-0 with the win, and defeated Weber State for the second straight time and the sixth time in the last seven meetings for a 40-26 record all-time against the Wildcats.</span>
<span>It was the first of two in-state showdowns for USU this week, as the Aggies travel to Salt Lake City on Saturday for a neutral site game against BYU.</span>
<span>Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Energy Solutions Arena.</span>