Wesley shatters backboard as USU rolls in rout

Published February 17, 2011 12:13 am

Wesley wakes up the crowd by shattering a backboard.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Logan • It was almost like the game didn't even happen.

Sure, No. 24 Utah State delighted its Spectrum crowd with a 100-66 win over NAIA foe Montana-Western. And sure, Tai Wesley's halftime warm-up dunk and shattered backboard turned an otherwise boring affair into a circus-like atmosphere.

But immediately following the win, the Aggies knew it was time to get down to business, which meant thinking about their nationally televised Saturday BracketBusters matchup against St. Mary's.

"We can finally start preparing for them," Wesley said. "It's going to be fun, a good challenge. We're going to go there, and hopefully we can give ourselves a chance to win."

Stew Morrill scheduled the Montana-Western game because he didn't want his team to go two weeks with just a single game per seven days.

He got exactly what he wanted, other than the 45-minute delay.

Utah State notched a season-high point total. The Aggies were able to play their entire bench extensive minutes and all 12 players scored, with senior Matt Formisano hitting the free throw to put USU in triple digits.

"The game served its purpose," Morrill said. "I just told them to go ahead and play. I don't think we treated it as a non-division I game. We played within ourselves pretty well. A lot of guys got to play. We shot the ball well. It served its purpose."

Scoring was balanced throughout. Wesley and Brian Green scored 20 points each. Nate Bendall scored 15 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Brady Jardine scored 11.

The only hitch in the act came in the second half when freshman point guard James Walker III was sent to the locker room after appearing to argue with the USU coaching staff.

Morrill acknowledged that Walker, one of his most promising players for the future, was disciplined. He declined to comment any further on the situation.

Other than that, Wednesday night's contest resembled a glorified scrimmage.

"It was an interesting night," Green said. "I don't know how Tai Wesley did that, but it was a long wait. It was fun to have a game instead of just a week of practice. We wanted to come out, play hard and get better as a team."



R Utah State scores 100 points for the first time this season.

• Tai Wesley shatters a backboard in the halftime warm-up line.

• The Aggies now look ahead to St. Mary's showdown.



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