Utah State hosts in-state battle with Southern Utah

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LOGAN -- Utah State (2-2) will play its first home game against an in-state rival Saturday as the Aggies face the Southern Utah University Thunderbirds (3-3).

The Aggies showed why they were picked to finish first in the WAC Conference Tuesday night as they routed the Idaho State Bengals, 77-44. Junior forward Tai Wesley led the way for the Aggies with 19 points and finished the night with four assists and one steal. Junior guard Pooh Williams played strong in his first home game back from surgery. Williams scored eight points and dished out one assist in 19 minutes.

The Aggies have struggled early on this season with turnovers, but only committed nine against the Bengals.

"It's just easier to play in front of your home crowd; it's just easier to take care of the ball, everything just goes smoother," said Wesley. "We need to work on taking care of the ball every game, home or away."

Junior guard Brian Green, who has been starting in place of Williams, scored 12 points in 23 minutes of action. Overall the Aggie bench outscored the Bengal bench 28-13. The Aggies shot 45.6 percent from the field and hit 35 percent of their 3-point shots.

Senior guard Amorrow Morgan scored the first points of the game and gave the Bengals an early 2-0 lead. The Bronco's would never lead again and the Aggies put the game out of reach on a 34-8 run capped by a Green 3-point shot with 7:08 remaining in the first half.

The Bronco's struggled profoundly on offense and hit only 32.7 percent of their field goals and 21.4 percent of their 3-point shots. Morgan scored 19 of the Bengals 44 points, and was the only Bengal to score double digits.

Southern Utah guard Davis Baker
Southern Utah guard Davis Baker

"Idaho State just got off to a rough start and it had a hard time ever recovering. Idaho State is a much better team than we saw tonight," said Aggie Head Coach Stew Morrill.

Southern Utah lost to the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles at home Wednesday night, 65-72. The Thunderbirds had won three in a row previous to that loss. Senior forward Davis Baker led the T-Birds with 25 points, sophomore forward Jake Nielson chipped in 12 points on the night, and SUU hit 42.3 percent from the field but it wasn't enough.

The Golden Eagles shot 48.1 percent from the field and outscored the T-Bird bench 23-13. Senior guard Frank Davis led the Eagles with 19 points.

The Aggies will be looking to extend their 35-home game winning streak and their 17-home game winning streak against in-state rivals. The Aggies lead the series against the T-Birds 3-0.

The Aggies defeated the T-Birds in 2007 in the Spectrum, 60-49. Jaycee Carroll led the Aggies to victory scoring 23 points. Utah State held the T-Birds to a 37.3 percent shooting performance and forward Tate Sorenson was the only T-Bird to score double digits.

Game time is slated for 7 p.m. Saturday night at the Spectrum in Logan.

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