Aggies get final preseason tune-up with win over NAIA Providence

LOGAN – Head coach Tim Duryea was able to give 14 different players minutes in Utah State’s 98-54 exhibition win over the University of Providence, an NAIA school from Great Falls, Montana.

The goal for this game wasn’t just a win. Duryea said it was a chance to “get the kinks out” and have a “trial run” of sorts, where the team can get adjusted to normal game preparations and routines.

“I think we got done what we needed to do,” he said.

Each Aggie that played scored at least three points, but it was Koby McEwen who led all with 17 points and three steals. Quinn Taylor led the team with seven rebounds and Sam Merrill added a game high eight assists.

“I though everybody from the first man off the bench to the whole team to played well,” said Aggie guard Deangelo Isby, who had eight points in 18 minutes.

Utah State made 15 of its 38 3-point attempts. Duryea said the team likely wont get that many attempts a game, but given the size disadvantage USU will see most nights, he would like to see 25 to 30.

“We can shoot the ball,” he said. “That is a strength of our team and that will have to be the strength of our team for the entire year.”

The Aggies started the game on a 15-1 run and led 39-10 at the 9:25 mark in the first half. Providence was able to cut that to 22 before the break.

“We started off the pretty aggressive, not shy at all,” McEwen said. “We started off defensive pretty well but got kind of lackadaisical mid through the first half.”

With the team’s starters back on the court, USU was able to start the second half on a 15-3 run. The Aggies finished the game with a 44-point advantage, its largest of the night.

McEwen, who was noticably smiling throughout the game, said he felt it was a lot of tough offseason work paying off.

“I’ve been working so hard in the offseason, and it just felt easy out there,” he said. “That is what I’ve been working for, I’ve been working so hard so it could feel easy during the game.”

Duryea said senior guard Julion Pearre, who was getting most of the backup minutes at the point guard spot during practice, will be out six to eight weeks with a calf tear.

USU will play its first regular season game next Friday at Weber State.

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