LOGAN – A little more than two weeks ago, head coach Stew Morrill said his basketball team wasn’t close to being able to compete at a Division I level. When halftime rolled around during Friday night’s game against Weber State, that is exactly what it looked like. The Aggies were down by 18 points and had a hard time getting anything going.
By the end of the game, it was a different story. The scoreboard read 72-61 in favor of the Aggies. Sophomore forward Jalen Moore credited the comeback to the coaches firing up the players during halftime. Freshman David Collette said it was the Spectrum crowd. Whatever it was that caused the comeback, Morrill’s young team didn’t give up. They fought back, and they won big.
“Never have I been down that much at halftime and come back and won by that much,” Collette said. “That was a huge swing.”
Right after tipoff the game got ugly fast for the Aggies. Weber State junior guard Chris Golden hit a three-pointer 13 seconds into the game. Four more three-pointers over the next ten minutes helped give the Wildcats a 28-14 lead with 9:26 left in the half. When the half ended, the Wildcats had a 49-27 advantage.
The Aggies were outrebounded 23-11 and shot 37.9 percent from the field during the first half.
“Really at half time we didn’t talk about winning,” Morrill said. “We just said, ‘We’re not that bad. We can play better than that. Let’s just see if we can cut into the lead as we go.’”
The second half was a completely different story. The Aggies fired up the crowd with an 8-0 run to start the half. Weber State’s Jeremy Senglin hit a big three point shot to try and stop the run, but Aggie junior Chris Smith immediately answered with a three of his own. A short time later, the Aggie’s finally took the lead with 10:10 left on a Collette dunk and would never look back. They would lead by as much as 15 before the game was over.
Morrill made a switch to zone defense during the game. He credited the switch as something that helped disrupt the Wildcats and winning the game.
“It’s hard when you’re Weber State to see a zone like that first game out, on the road” Morrill said.
Collette led the Aggies in scoring with 22 points. Moore added another 20.
“It was a fun way to win,” Morrill said. “You couldn’t believe the scoreboard when all of a sudden it was like, ‘What? We’re ahead?’”
The Aggies now have a quick turnaround. They board a plane Saturday and will play at Illinois State Sunday.