Boise, Idaho • One of Utah State’s key players went down Saturday night at Taco Bell Arena, and if the game was any indication, the Aggies need him back as soon as possible.
Sophomore forward Kyle Davis was hurt midway throught the second half, an apparent reaggravation of a knee injury that has been wrapped several times this season. After being helped up by the team trainer, Davis slipped on a brace and did not return.
Coach Stew Morrill said afterward he did not have an update on Davis, who missed a game with knee pain earlier in the year.
But there was no mistaking the trouble Davis’ absence caused. Utah State had a tough time working the boards without him.
The Aggies didn’t pick up a rebound for several minutes after he went out, and then got only four for the rest of the game. Boise State picked up a plus-12 margin on the glass for the night, highlighted by 16 from center Ryan Watkins.
Watkins managed 10 offensive rebounds, tying a career high. In one minute-and-a-half stretch, Boise State got four offensive boards on a single possession, which ended in a short jumper and emphasized the rebounding futility for Utah State.
“The stat that killed us the most was rebounding,” Morrill said afterward. “We shot it well, we passed well, percentage-wise we defended well. We just got kicked on the boards.”
Davis was the leading rebounder for the Aggies with eight. He averages a team-leading 8.6 boards per game.
For the past few games, Utah State was struggling with shooting the ball.
Although the Aggies had many things to worry about, that wasn’t a huge issue against the Broncos. The team shot 51.9 percent, including nine 3-pointers that helped give the team the lead late in the second half.
Jarred Shaw led the team with 11-for-16 shooting, while Preston Medlin was an efficient 6-for-8, including 4-for-5 from 3-point range.
Morrill said he had felt confident about one of Utah State’s last looks at the basket, a four-footer that Shaw nearly sank for the lead with seconds left.
“Jarred had been having a big night, so we called a play to go to him,” he said. “He made a good move, went right up with it, and made a shot. It went out.”