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USU Hoops: Turnovers and missed shots lead to tough loss

Published January 22, 2012 4:15 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Now, Utah State is a desperate team.

The Aggies lost to Idaho on Saturday night, 57-54, in a game they should've won. It's a game that USU will regret, and an outcome that leaves the Aggies searching for a win. Any win.

Utah State led 39-30, after Preston Medlin hit a lay-up and converted a three-point play. At that point, USU looked well on its way to an important WAC win, a 3-2 conference record, and hope with winnable home games against Hawaii and San Jose State on the horizon.

Instead, the Aggies are wondering how it all went wrong.

Here are some clues:

There was a Ben Clifford turnover. An E.J. Farris turnover. A Brockeith Pane turnover. A missed free-throw from the hands of Danny Berger.

All of this came in the last three minutes. And Idaho was only too happy to take advantage of the opening. Stephen Madison hit the three-pointer that put the Vandals up for good. And by the time Preston Medlin missed a three-pointer with four seconds remaining, Idaho had completed the comeback.

Now, what it means.

It means that Utah State is 2-3 in the WAC and 10-10 on the season. It means the Aggies now have zero hope to win the Western Athletic Conference title. It means that frustration is growing by the game for Utah State, which has morphed into a team way too reliant on Brockeith Pane and Preston Medlin to score. It means the Aggies are left to figure out ways to score, since USU has no post presence and Kyisean Reed has been maddenly inconsistent from game-to-game.

The Aggies are at a low point right now. A year ago, Stew Morrill said that one of these seasons, his team was going to struggle. Everyone laughed. But now, those struggles are here. And they are quite real.

And nobody is laughing.

Tony Jones