Wesley shatters backboard as USU rolls

Feb 17 2011 - 12:49am

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(JIM URQUHART/The Associated Press) Montana Western guard Brandon Brown is surrounded by Utah State guards James Walker III (left), Tyler Newbold (second from left) and forward Tai Wesley.
(JIM URQUHART/The Associated Press) Montana Western guard Brandon Brown is surrounded by Utah State guards James Walker III (left), Tyler Newbold (second from left) and forward Tai Wesley.

LOGAN -- Tai Wesley and Brian Green each scored 20 points to lead No. 25 Utah State over Montana Western 100-66 on Wednesday night in a game delayed about 50 minutes after two backboards were shattered at halftime.

Wesley, a 6-foot-8 senior forward, broke the first one when he dunked during second-half warmups. Workers replacing the backboard then smashed the backup while trying to position it upright and attach the shot clock.

While the visiting Bulldogs were jeered by the Utah State student section as they continued to warm up, a third backboard was found. The shot clock was placed on the floor near a portable unit that held up for the rest of the game, though it wobbled at times.

Nate Bendall added 15 points and nine rebounds for the Aggies (24-3), while Brady Jardine scored 11.

The Bulldogs (19-8), an NAIA school, were led by Cody Thueringer, who went 6 for 11 from 3-point range on his way to 17 points. Brandon Brown, who was averaging 19.9 points, was held to 11 points and five assists. He scored his first points with 2:30 to play in the first half.

Utah State outscored the Bulldogs 42-18 in the paint and outrebounded them 46-27.

The Aggies, fifth in the nation in scoring defense at 58.3 points per game, led by as many as 38 late. Both teams cleared the benches early in the second half, though USU's reserves outscored Montana Western's 48-28. The Aggies shot 13 of 22 on 3-pointers, while the Bulldogs were 11 of 33 from long range.

In the first half, USU had little trouble getting out to a 26-10 lead after Green and Wesley hit back-to-back 3s with 9:44 to play.

Green, a reserve guard, missed his first two shots but then made his final seven attempts, including six 3-pointers, in 20 minutes.

USU held a 44-25 lead at halftime. Wesley had 14 points in 12 minutes and finished the game with eight rebounds.

Utah State plays St. Mary's on Saturday in an ESPN BracketBuster game.

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