Aggies come back late to beat Wildcats

Aggies come back late to beat Wildcats

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OGDEN — There are varying philosophies on in-state competition.

Some schools prefer to play as little in-state competition as possible; other schools will play anybody and everybody that comes their way.

Both Utah State and Weber State have made names for themselves by playing any school that is willing to challenge them, and the Aggies found themselves willing to overcome the challenge of playing at the Dee Events Center in Ogden, coming back late to beat Weber State, 77-71.

“It was how these games always are — hard fought, and it came down to a few plays,” Utah State head coach Stew Morrill said. “I’m proud of our guys because we kind of got knocked on our (ends) in the first half. … But we had some guys step up in the second half, and just made a few more plays.”

The Wildcats took an early 5-4 lead, but Utah State went on a 10-0 run to open a commanding lead. However, Weber State clawed back into the game, using Davion Berry’s shooting and a thunderous Joel Bolomboy alley-oop to take a 33-31 lead at halftime.

"It was how these games always are- hard fought and it came down to a few plays," Utah State head coach Stew Morrill said.

Weber State coach Randy Rahe said he was impressed with the play of Berry and Jeremy Senglin, who scored 21 and 14 points, respectively.

“I thought both of them played with a lot of energy tonight; a lot of juice,” Rahe said. “I thought both of them kind of let the game come to them. I didn’t think they were forcing a lot of things, which we’ve been preaching in practice."

Utah State began to establish its post presence in the second half and began to wear the Wildcats down using Kyle Davis and Jarred Shaw. Davis scored 16 points, and had 14 rebounds, while Shaw scored 20 points. The Aggies' frontline starters combined for 36 points and drove Weber State center Kyle Tresnak into foul trouble.

Tresnak said the Aggies’ post players are a large defensive challenge.

“They’ve got a bunch of big guys that know how to play,” he said. “They’re great on offense; good on defense. Their whole team, as just a whole, is a great team.”

This game was Utah State’s first in a duo of in-state clashes as the Aggies prepare to take on BYU in Salt Lake City this week.

Morrill said his staff values playing and beat quality in-state competition.

“They’re huge,” Morrill said, referring to the importance of in-state games. “In-state games are special, and they are to our staff, and I think they are to our players. And, we’ve got another one coming up on Saturday; fortunately, we’ll get a day off tomorrow and have two days of practice.

“I saw someone predicted BYU to be a Final Four team. There are some people thinking they’re pretty good, and I’m one of those people.”

The Wildcats host San Jose State Saturday, and Rahe said his team, while 0-3, is improving.

“I’m proud of our kids,” he said. “I thought we played really hard; I thought we showed a lot of toughness, a lot of grit, and that’s got to be a strength of our team.”

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Jon Oglesby


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