Utah State basketball: Reed sparks Aggies’ win over Seattle
By Kyle Goon
The Salt Lake TribuneFirst published Jan 03 2013 10:58PM
Logan • At the start and the finish, Kyisean Reed was giving the small Spectrum crowd of 6,116 a show of his game-changing abilities.
Soaring above the fray for rebounds. Grabbing Seattle’s passes out of midair. And one-handed fastbreak dunks that made Utah State fans gush.
Reed’s showmanship was worth the price of admission on a night when the mercury dropped to negative 5 degrees, and his plays helped put the finishing touches on a 75-66 win over the Redhawks on Thursday night. A late run extended the Aggies’ (12-1, 3-0) winning streak to 11 games, preserving a perfect Western Athletic Conference record for an imperfect team.
The team’s lone senior’s 20-point, 10-rebound effort helped wash away the damage from a nearly 11-minute stretch without a field goal for Utah State. But the Aggies countered a 14-0 run by Seattle with a 12-2 run of their own.
"Sometimes you win when you don’t play great," coach Stew Morrill said. "We did barely enough to win."
One of the Aggies’ biggest strengths on a pedestrian shooting night was taking care of the ball when the Redhawks didn’t. Utah State took advantage of a plus-10 turnover margin by scoring 26 points off of Seattle’s miscues.
The Redhawks were generous to the hometown Aggies, giving up 18 turnovers with nine on travels alone. The numerous calls got Seattle’s leading scorer Deshaun Sunderhaus so frustrated, he was called for a technical in the closing minutes, which helped continue a Utah State swing.
The Aggies were also aided by standout games from Preston Medlin and Marcel Davis. Medlin had 18 points to finish second in scoring, including 6 for 6 from the charity stripe to go along with five assists. Davis, the freshman point guard, had a team-high seven assists, and he broke the shooting drought with a 3-pointer in the second half on the way to 13 points.
"After we started making one more pass to each other, we started getting better looks," Davis said. "We started hitting shots, started playing better defense, and it just helped us."
Utah State struggled to stop Sunderhaus, the 6-foot-9 freshman who finished with 23 points on 10-for-13 shooting. The Aggies were also outrebounded, 34-31, for the third time in the last four games.
Before the Aggies lost their shooting touch, Reed had led a first-half effort with 13 points. Taking advantage of Seattle’s penchant for crashing the offensive boards, Reed outran the defense for a few easy baskets to seize the early momentum.
Aside from Utah State’s second-half run of 3-pointers from Medlin and Davis or Jarred Shaw’s volleyball-spike blocks at the rim, Reed’s heroics were the headliner of the evening.
"I think I’m faster than pretty much any big man I ever meet, so I just run down court," Reed said of his dunks. "I don’t think anyone really expects it, it just happens."
Utah State has a quick turnaround for a Saturday home game against Idaho. The Aggies will play their fourth game in eight days when they tip off Saturday night at the Spectrum.