Nov. 27, 2004
LOGAN, Utah - Spencer Nelson scored 18 points and Utah State set a school record by shooting 77.8 percent from the field en route to an 81-55 victory over UC Davis in front of 6,084 Saturday night at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
With the loss the Aggies see their season record fall to 1-1 while Utah State improves to 3-1.
Despite the final margin of victory, the Aggies kept the game close for a majority of the contest. UC Davis trailed by 15 entering the second half and cut the lead to 13 on two occasions. Each Aggie basket was answered by Utah State as the teams exchanged scores throughout much of the period. With just over five minutes remaining in the second half UC Davis had cut the lead to 63-50 following a Fowzi Abdelsamad layup. That was as close as UC Davis got as Utah State scored the next 15 points over a three-minute span to put the game out of reach.
The Aggies from Utah State capitalized on all scoring opportunities as it connected on 15 of 19 field goals, a blistering 78.9 percent for the half. If there was a weakness it was at the foul line where Utah State shot just 69 percent for the contest. Nelson led the way as he hit all four of his shots in the half, all from inside the paint.
"We got beat in every facet of the game," said Aggie head coach Gary Stewart. "We struggled with what we talked about going into the game and that's a tribute to Utah State. They put you in a variety of positions and force you to execute properly and if you don't they exploit you. We got it going a bit in the second half but just couldn't get stops when we needed."
Abdelsamad had it going early as he hit two field goals in the opening minutes as UC Davis jumped out to a 7-5 lead with just under four minutes elapsed. Utah State answered with a 12-0 burst, capped by a Chris Huber three, giving Utah State a 10-point lead midway through the half.
Utah State had balanced scoring in the half as seven different players produced its first nine field goals. UC Davis cut lead to five with 7-0 run late in the half. Three Ryan Moore free throws and a Rommel Marentez baseline jumper to cut the lead to 25-20 with 4:33 to play. It was all Utah State the rest of the half as it outscored the Aggies 14-4, with much of the damage coming at the free throw line. Utah State made its final eight attempts in the half to stretch its advantage to 39-24 at halftime.
Nelson finished the game with 18 points on a perfect 6-for-6 shooting night, adding a game-high 10 rebounds. Cass Matheus was the only other Utah State player in double figures, finishing with 16, 10 in the second half. The Aggies had 18 assists on their 28 field goals, as their 77.8 percent shooting smashed the previous school record of 69.5 percent, set against New Mexico State in 1985.
For UC Davis, Abdelsamad led the way with 20 points, hitting four three pointers on the night. Ryan Moore added 13 points and a team-high five boards. The Aggies had only four assists on the evening after recording 25 in its last outing against UC Santa Cruz.
UC Davis is next in action on Wednesday when it crosses the causeway to face Sacramento State. Gametime is set for 7 p.m.