Aggies crush UC Riverside to stay perfect at Spectrum
USU forward Shawn Daniels rises above the Riverside defense to score in the first half on Tuesday night in the Spectrum. The Aggies beat the Highlanders, 75-45. / Photo by Liz Hobson
The Aggies did not have much trouble with the UC Riverside Highlanders in the Spectrum Tuesday night, winning 75-45 to remain perfect in home games.
Utah State got its second look at their future Big West opponent, who will join the conference at the start of next season.
The Aggies got off to a quick start as they opened up the game with a 22-6 run, including back-to-back dunks by Brennan Ray and Dion Bailey.
However, USU turned over the ball 12 times in the first half and shot only 36 percent from the field. Fortunately, the team held the Highlanders to only 23 percent from the field.
"We played hard defense in the first half, but we were awful offensively" USU coach Stew Morrill said.
With the advantage and the quick start, the Aggie bench saw a lot of playing time as no player from USU played more than 23 minutes. The bench came up with 37 points, including Dion Bailey as he and Curtis Bobb led all scorers with 12 points.
"Dion's playing real well lately," Morrill said. "He's playing more solid and we need that right now."
Even Jason Napier finally got his first basket ever as an Aggie. He nailed a three-pointer after he came off the bench in the final two minutes.
During the second half Utah State continued to build its lead as both Tony Brown and Bobb drained two three-pointers each to help their team go on a 22-6 run to start the half.
"We were running our offensive a lot better in the second half," Bailey said.
In the second half the Aggies hit 54 percent of their shots and turned over the ball only seven times. With the victory over the Highlanders, Utah State has now won its last 17 games from teams that are from California. Utah State has also won its last nine games.
The Aggies will return to conference play and play Boise State in Logan on Saturday.