Reed, Berger Help USU Bench Out-Score UVU Reserves, 27-18
LOGAN, Utah – Sophomore guard Danny Berger and junior forward Kyisean Reed came off the bench to combine for 21 points, in helping the Utah State reserves to a nine-point advantage over their counterparts, which resulted in a nine-point victory, as the Aggies beat Utah Valley, 63-54, Tuesday night in men’s basketball action at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
Sophomore starting guard Preston Medlin netted a team-high 13 points and a career-high six assists, while Reed added 11 points. Berger had 10 points, including seven in the second half, in only his second game of action, as USU led from start-to-finish in improving to 4-4 overall, and snapping a two-game losing skid to avoid its first three-game losing streak since 2007-08.
Utah Valley was led by Isiah Williams’ game-high 16 points while Kevin Woods added 10 points off the bench for the Wolverines, who also evened their record with a level 5-5 mark with the loss.
With the win, the Aggies remain unbeaten against the Wolverines by improving to 7-0 overall, including 4-0 in Logan. USU has now won 26-straight home games against in-state competition and is 28-1 at home against fellow Beehive State foes under head coach Stew Morrill. Utah State has won 30 of its last 38 games against in-state opponents and improves to 37-12 against the state of Utah over the last 12 seasons. Overall, the Aggies have now won 86 of their last 89 home games and are now 196-14 at home under Morrill.
Senior guard Brockeith Pane added nine points to go along with a season-high tying four rebounds, while senior forward Morgan Grim added seven points. Grim and freshman center Jordan Stone led USU by snaring eight rebounds apiece, while Reed pulled down six boards in helping USU to a 38-32 rebounding edge. Geddes Robinson snared a game-high nine rebounds for UVU.
The Aggies shot 46.0 percent (23-of-50) from the field, making 5-of-11 (45.5 percent) behind the arc. USU was also 12-of-20 (60.0 percent) at the free throw line, hitting all four attempts in the final 30 seconds to seal the win.
Utah Valley was 22-of-46 (39.3 percent) field goal shooting, also going 5-of-11 (45.5 percent) from three-point range, as Williams hit four. The Wolverines made half of their free throws (5-of-10). UVU’s 54 points were a season-low for the USU defense.
Points in the paint were even at 22-22 and second-chance points were also level at eight apiece and USU scored 16 points off UVU’s 13 turnovers while the Wolverines tallied 12 points off 14 Aggie turnovers, with the biggest difference being bench points, where USU had a 27-18 advantage. The 27 bench points are the Aggies’ second-most of the season, behind 31 points in the Southern Utah game
A jumper and a three-pointer by Medlin at the 15:30 mark opened a 9-1 USU lead. Utah Valley cut the gap to two on a pair of occasions, the last at 13-11 with 11:06 on the clock, but couldn’t get any closer. Freshman guard Adam Thoseby hit two jumpers and Berger netted a three-pointer during an 11-3 Aggie run to open a 24-14 lead with 6:56 remaining in the half, capped by a layup from Reed. The USU lead stretched to 15 with 3:52 left in the half after a Medlin trey, before UVU trimmed the margin to 36-27 at halftime.
The Wolverines clawed away at the deficit, cutting it to 45-42 at the 11:46 mark following back-to-back buckets by Robinson. That would be the closest UVU would get, as Berger drained another three-pointer on USU’s next possession, and Thoseby hit a jumper for an eight-point Aggie advantage at 50-42 with 10:59 on the clock, forcing a UVU timeout.
A jumper by Keith Thompson pulled the Wolverines within 51-47 at the 7:20 mark, but the Aggies held them at bay as Berger hit a pair of layups sandwiched around a bucket by Medlin to open another eight-point lead at 57-49 with 4:14 to go, and USU hung on for the win.
Utah State plays at Wichita State on Saturday, Dec. 10 at 6 p.m. (MT), before returning home to open a four-game homestand, opening by hosting future Western Athletic Conference foe Seattle on Saturday, Dec. 17 at 7 p.m. (MT). The USU-Seattle game will be regionally televised on KCSG.
USU then hosts the Athletes In Action Classic, sponsored by Gossner Foods on Tuesday-Thursday, Dec. 20-22, welcoming another future WAC school in Texas-Arlington to the Spectrum, along with Saint Peter’s and Kent State, for the four-team, three-day tournament.
To purchase tickets, or for more Aggie basketball ticket information, fans can contact the USU Ticket Office at 1-888-USTATE-1 or 435-797-0305, in person at the USU Ticket Office inside the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, or on-line 24 hours a day at www.utahstateaggies.com by clicking on the “tickets” button.
Fans can follow the Aggie basketball program at twitter.com/Aggiehoops or on the USU men’s basketball blog at usubasketball.blogspot.com. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program at twitter.com/USUAthletics or on facebook at Utah State University Athletics.
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