Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Utah State basketball: Aggies shaky ahead of final few tests
Utah State basketball » Visit to daunting New Mexico is up next.
First Published Feb 23 2014 05:25 pm • Last Updated Feb 25 2014 04:42 pm

Logan • There were definite hopeful notes in the voices of the Aggies on Saturday night, even after a 79-76 loss to Fresno State.

Maybe it was just because the game had seemed so close, so within reach in the final minutes. Utah State’s three-game win streak is now cold after three straight losses, but also close enough to remember, and maybe that gave them optimism as well.

Photos
At a glance

Utah State at New Mexico

Tuesday, 7 p.m.

TV » CBS Sports Network

Hitting the road

» The Aggies have games at New Mexico and San Jose State in the next week.

»  Utah State has lost three straight games.

» The Aggies are 1-6 in conference play on the road this year.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

The setback against the Bulldogs assured the Aggies of a losing record in conference play, but Jarred Shaw said he felt his team could still go to Albuquerque and beat New Mexico in only three days.

"I look at it as another opportunity to get a win, and I’ll go in there with that mindset," he said. "I feel like if everybody put their mind toward defense and rebounding, we could really do it."

But what overshadowed the Aggies’ close loss was the game that USU coach Stew Morrill had compared to the Super Bowl: The Lobos won convincingly over No. 6-ranked San Diego State in a 58-44 rout. And after an uneven performance — one that has become characteristic of the Aggies this season — on its own home court, Utah State hardly looks suited to take on the top team in the Mountain West in one of the toughest venues in the country.

Morrill seemed to be wearily aware of this in his postgame comments. These last few games of the season, particularly the two road games coming up, will say a lot about Utah State’s character and whether the team will be able to mount a respectable finish to an already disappointing year.

Losing to Fresno State at the Spectrum wasn’t a step in the right direction.

"It’s disappointing that we let them come in here and beat us, but we’re not the most confident group right now," Morrill said. "We have to decide if we want to just play it out or play to win with three games left."

It discouraged the team to come out so slow, stumbling to a 16-point deficit in the first half. They had the advantage of being home, of having height and length. But for the first 16 minutes, the Aggies barely looked in the same class as the team right above them in the standings.

Utah State managed to find a spark and pull back in it, even leading in the second half, but falling behind early may have cost the Aggies. Morrill took the blame, saying that it didn’t seem his team was ready to play.


story continues below
story continues below

Complete games this season have been hard to come by, and at times the Aggies have seemed to be seesawing in league play. When they play well defensively, the offense might have an off night. Or like Saturday, when they can shoot, they can’t stop the other team.

To knock off — or realistically even stay within single digits of — a team like the Lobos, the Aggies will need a complete game. And they have three days to summon one out of themselves.

While they remained positive, the latest defeat didn’t offer much encouragement that they were closer to that goal. They continue to seek it.

"We’ve had a lot of close losses this year," TeNale Roland said. "We’ve just got to keep battling. We can’t start out slow like we did."

kgoon@sltrib.com

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
Videos
Jobs
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
  • Login to the Electronic 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.