Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Utah State's Kyle Davis works around San Jose State's Devante Wilson during an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014, in Logan, Utah. (AP Photo/Herald Journal, John Zsiray)
Utah State basketball: Roland powers Aggies to first conference win

First Published Jan 04 2014 07:01 pm • Last Updated Mar 24 2014 11:31 pm

Logan • TeNale Roland’s 20-point, perfect shooting outburst may have surprised a lot of people at the Spectrum on Saturday night.

Not his team. No, coach Stew Morrill said, he wasn’t surprised at all.

Latest tweets from Kyle Goon (newest at the top)

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

"We’ve been waiting for that," he said. "He can really shoot the ball."

The senior guard left no doubt of his skill, scoring all of his points in the second half and going 5-for-5 from the field to help the Aggies best San Jose State, 86-67, in a game rife with big shots. The Spartans put up the most 3-pointers on Utah State since 2005, but in the end, a robust second half powered by Roland’s run gave Utah State its first conference win in the Mountain West.

Among the Aggies’ lineup of dangerous senior guards, Roland has been the longest due for a breakout game. It prompted a line of smiles and playful taunts from his teamates as they filed into the lockroom after the victory.

"It was awsome to see TeNale step up and get some shots," said Spencer Butterfield, who finished with 14 points himself. "I knew he had it in him. This was a great game for him to come out and get hot."

From the outset, the Aggies were offset by the razor-sharp 3-point shooting of San Jose State: The Spartans shot more than 61 percent of their field goals behind the line, and made enough of them to make Utah State sweat.

Clinging to a 30-29 lead at halftime, the Aggies finally figured out its own offensive issues after a pedestrian first half. After trading buckets to start the second half, Roland scored 12 straight points to build a 3-point lead into a 9-point one in only two-and-a-half minutes.

The punch seemed to wilt San Jose State’s resolve. Not long after, a layup by Jalen Moore gave the Aggies a double-digit edge, and the Spartans didn’t have many big shots left to answer the assault with.

Roland was not the only Aggie to have a brilliant game. Preston Medlin knocked down buckets and made even more key passes, finishing with 15 points and 8 assists against no turnovers. Kyle Davis had his third double-double in as many games, helping Utah State gain a nearly two-to-one rebounding and inside scoring advantage.

story continues below
story continues below

Roland made sure to spread the praise around.

"I have to give credit to my team for finding me," he said. "They gave me good passes and I was able to get them it. Our offense gives a lot of opportunities for our guys to get open shots."

The main story coming in turned out to be more of a subplot: Senior center Jarred Shaw’s return from a five-game suspension saw him shoot only 2-for-10 from the field for six points and nine rebounds. His early struggles with turnovers led Morrill to try a few different lineups, including the "small" lineup with Davis and Moore that eventually helped the team take off.

Asked about Shaw’s performance, Morrill said his big man was more or less what he expected after a long layover. The veteran Aggies coach seemed more relieved to get to bounce back from a rough one-point loss at Air Force.

"It was a game we had to have, and they responded in the second half," Morrill said. "They knew we weren’t playing as well at halftime. We were giving ourselves a chance to get beat."

The Aggies trailed by as much as four as San Jose State came out firing. Freshman Rashad Muhammad started 6-for-6 from 3-point range, leading his team with 20 points for the game.


Twitter: @kylegoon

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.