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USU opens up on threes in 2nd half

Published February 5, 2014 10:40 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Logan • For three halves against Nevada, Utah State's 3-point shooting hadn't shown up.

The Aggies entered the week with the fourth-best 3-point percentage in the country, but had only made two in an earlier loss to the Wolfpack, and was 1-for-7 in the first half on Wednesday night.

That abruptly changed with the very first play of the second: a Preston Medlin 3-pointer that seemed to unleash a stream of Aggie shots that were on the mark.

It was a simple concept: Stew Morrill and his staff noticed the Wolfpack had been doubling up on Jarred Shaw, who had gotten eight points early. The Aggies got him the ball, Medlin's man doubled, and Shaw passed out for a wide-open look that was the start of a cascade.

"It got us going, then we made another one," Morrill said. "That certainly helped."

It led to TeNale Roland's 3-pointer, which began to open up driving lanes. The Aggies were a blistering 5-for-7 from beyond the arc in the second half.

Medlin finished with three long-range shots — all in the second half — and Spencer Butterfield had two.

"We talked about coming into the second half aggressively and not giving in," Butterfield said. "We played hard in the first half, we just need to continue it into the second half. [Medlin's 3-pointer] was huge."

Marcel Davis rejoins rotation

An Aggie who had sat out for two games finally got off the bench on Wednesday night. And Marcel Davis did not waste his 18 minutes.

The sophomore point guard chipped in to Utah State's victory, making both of his shot attempts and dishing out three assists in his return to court. Morrill had hinted before the game he might use Davis as the Aggies returned to a "traditional" lineup.

Davis was the one-time starter at point guard, but saw his minutes decline as he struggled. His teammates said afterward he hadn't allowed himself to get too discouraged.