LAS VEGAS – Down 11 with 2:40 left, the Utah State men’s basketball team looked left for dead.
It all changed in a hurry.
The Aggies finished the game on a 16-3 tear to complete a come-from-behind victory, 73-69 over Colorado State in the first round of the Mountain West Conference tournament – the Aggies’ first ever MWC tournament game.
“I’ve been coaching a long time. I’ve never been a part of something like that. That was wild,” said USU head coach Stew Morrill.
In a span of 18 seconds, the Aggies went from trailing 66-59 to leading 67-66. Freshman Jalen Moore hit a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to four and stole a pass on the ensuing possession. After Preston Medlin missed a 3-pointer, Moore came up with an offensive rebound and Butterfield came up with another 3-pointer to cut the deficit to one.
In the seconds following Butterfield’s 3-pointer, CSU’s Daniel Bejarano was whistled for a technical foul to send Butterfield to the free throw line for a chance at the lead.
According to a published statement from head official Randy McCall, Bejarano “began taunting” multiple USU players.
“I don’t know exactly what words were exchanged,” Butterfield said. “I just know that Bejarano got a little frustrated.”
Butterfield went 6-for-6 from the line in the game’s final 40 seconds and scored nine of USU’s final 16 points.
“Spencer has made big shots for us his whole career,” Morrill said. “If you’ve got a shot that’s a big shot in the game, he’s a guy you want shooting it.”
With the win, USU improved to 18-13 overall this season and earned a date with No. 1-seeded San Diego State on Wednesday at 12 p.m. PST.