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Utah State's Spencer Butterfield (21) brings the ball up against Nevada during an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014, in Logan, Utah. (AP Photo/The Herald Journal, Eli Lucero)
Utah State basketball: Aggies beat Boise State 76-70
Mountain West » Utah State wins 2nd straight in conference.
First Published Feb 08 2014 04:10 pm • Last Updated Feb 09 2014 02:42 pm

Logan • With just over 12 seconds left, the Aggies weren’t completely safe yet.

Utah State was up by six, and Boise State had the ball. The Aggies wanted to make sure it stayed away from Derrick Marks, the guard who beat them the last time the two teams played.

At a glance

Storylines

Utah State notches its second straight Mountain West win.

» Preston Medlin leads with 19 points and three assists.

» Jarred Shaw gets a 17-point, 10-rebound double-double.

Utah State 76, Boise State 70

BOISE ST. (15-9)

Watkins 3-8 1-1 7, Drmic 9-15 3-4 26, Duncan 0-2 0-0 0, Thompson 5-8 1-2 13, Marks 8-13 4-4 21, Bropleh 0-7 0-0 0, Hanstad 0-0 0-0 0, Hadziomerovic 0-0 0-0 0, Trent 1-3 1-2 3, Ness 0-0 0-0 0.

Totals 26-56 10-13 70.

UTAH ST. (14-9)

Butterfield 6-10 0-0 13, K. Davis 4-6 7-7 15, Shaw 7-16 3-6 17, Medlin 8-12 0-0 19, Roland 0-1 2-4 2, M. Davis 1-1 1-1 3, Berger 1-2 1-2 3, Moore 2-3 0-0 4, McGlaston 0-0 0-0 0, Stone 0-0 0-0 0

Totals 29-51 14-20 76.

Halftime—Tied 33-33. 3-Point Goals—Boise St. 8-21 (Drmic 5-10, Thompson 2-4, Marks 1-1, Trent 0-1, Duncan 0-2, Bropleh 0-3), Utah St. 4-9 (Medlin 3-3, Butterfield 1-4, Roland 0-1, Berger 0-1). Fouled Out—Duncan, Watkins. Rebounds—Boise St. 29 (Bropleh, Watkins 9), Utah St. 30 (Shaw 10). Assists—Boise St. 10 (Bropleh 4), Utah St. 18 (K. Davis 5). Total Fouls—Boise St. 20, Utah St. 11. A—10,011.

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What a relief, then, when the inbounds pass was stolen and the ball went to Spencer Butterfield’s hands, the safest place it could be as time ticked out on Utah State’s 76-70 victory, the team’s second straight in Mountain West play. Another team that had bitten the Aggies (14-9, 4-7) on the road went down at the Spectrum on Saturday afternoon.

"If they knock down a three, you’re not out of the woods with that," forward Kyle Davis said. "That was really cool to be able to see Spencer steal that and just kind of finalize the game for us."

The game continued a turnaround for the Aggies, who have now won two straight in the conference schedule for the first time. The things that went wrong for Utah State last time — rebounds, free throws, late execution — went right for them in a second chance against Boise State.

The Broncos simply couldn’t keep up with the Utah State offense, especially in a second half in which the Aggies were 15 for 24 from the field. USU had four scorers in double-digits, led by Preston Medlin’s 19 — and 14 of those points came in the second half.

The big man tandem of Jarred Shaw and Kyle Davis were key to set up the blistering second half. Utah State fed them inside, and they combined for 32 points and 18 rebounds while Boise State’s two starting forwards, Ryan Watkins and Nick Duncan, ended up fouling out.

That inside threat opened up the floor for shooters, particularly Medlin.

"[Shaw and Davis] got into the lane and made some good shots," Medlin said. "That kind of brought everyone in a little bit."

Medlin was 8 for 12 on the night, including a perfect 3 for 3 on 3-point shots. Butterfield, who had 13 points, was 6 for 10.


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story continues below

The offensive efficiency drove the Aggies from a 33-all halftime lead to nine points 10 minutes into the second period. Utah State appeared to have the Broncos on their heels at several points in the game.

Forward Anthony Drmic kept Boise State in it, scoring 26 points in what seemed to be a one-man assault for a time. Marks chipped in toward the end, scoring 10 second-half points and finishing with 21.

They got as close as three points away with 21/2 minutes left. Davis made a critical pair of free throws — he was 7 of 7 from the line — and a defensive rebound by Shaw gave the Aggies the ball. It was never a one-possession game again.

Having beaten two teams that topped them in the first tour of league play, Utah State has rebounded from a losing streak earlier against Mountain West competition. Coach Stew Morrill hoped it would carry on next week at Colorado State, a team the Aggies have already beaten this year.

"We had a lot of guys play well," he said. "A lot of guys did good things. Believe it or not, we’re in a pretty dang good frame of mind right now."



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