Logan • It wasn't a fabulous start for Spencer Butterfield. Even he knew that.
It took him more than 15 minutes to score his first points for Utah State - at the free throw line. He hit a 3-pointer for his first field goal with 51 seconds left in the half.
But it's all about how you finish, isn't it?
"I think you got to stay confident in those situations," the senior guard said of his slow start. "Get to the free throw line, just try to get the rhythm. Once you see the ball go through the hole, you just get more and more confident."
There was no question of Butterfield's confidence in the second half and overtime of Utah State's 77-71 win over UC-Santa Barbara on Friday night. In the words of teammate Ben Clifford, Butterfield "took over."
He had 24 points after halftime, hit four 3-pointers in the game, was perfect from the free throw line, added 10 rebounds and three assists. Late in the game, when the Aggies were still trying to come back from behind, he had the magic stroke: In his career night, he was 8-for-13 from the field in the second half and overtime.
"He was just relentless," coach Stew Morrill said. "He'll make a big shot, get a rebound, make a big play for you. He's a scrapper. He's a battler."
Without leading scorer Jarred Shaw, the Aggies are placing more on the shoulders of their remaining players. That, of course, is no strange role to Butterfield, who stepped up last season after Preston Medlin and Danny Berger were done for the year. Utah State will need more performances of this magnitude, especially if Shaw misses extended time in his suspension.
In the video above, Butterfield talks about the win, the late-game execution and how it felt to pull victory out at the finish.
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