LOGAN, Utah - Utah State men’s basketball built a 20-point halftime lead and, despite some lapses in the second half, rolled from there in an 83-68 home-opening victory over Adams State on Tuesday night. The win was the 22nd consecutive home-opening victory for USU and moved the Aggies to 50-9 all-time in home openers.
Utah State shot 51.7 percent (31-of-60) on the night and had three players in double figures, headlined by senior guard Chris Smith with 21, sinking a career-high nine baskets on 9-of-12 shooting. Junior wing Jalen Moore and redshirt freshman forward Quinn Taylor joined Smith in double figures with 17 and 12, respectively. Taylor also had a near double-double, logging a game-high nine rebounds, including five offense boards. Moore and Smith were just behind with seven rebounds, while the Aggies out-rebounded the Grizzlies 41-28.
Utah State used an 18-2 run over a six-minute stretch in the first half to overturn a 14-12 deficit and take a 30-16 lead with 7:38 to play. The run began on a put-back by Taylor and was punctuated by a 3-point basket by Moore. USU increased its lead to 20 going into the half as Smith hit a 3-point bucket with time expiring, sending the teams into the break with the Aggies leading, 47-27.
Utah State’s advantage grew to as much as 26 in the second half, 70-44, with 12 minutes to play, but the Aggies then fell into a rut and failed to score over a four-minute stretch while committing five turnovers. The lull allowed the Grizzlies to put together a 12-0 run, making the difference 14, 70-56, with 7:15 on the clock. The run was answered by a six-point push by the Aggies to put the home side back up 20, 76-56, with 5:52 to play. Adams State countered with another 9-2 run to pull to within 13, 78-65, with just over four minutes to play, but was unable to get any closer as Utah State captured the 83-68 win at the final horn.
Adams State finished the night shooting 47.5 percent (31-of-60), including 26.1 percent (6-of-23) from behind the 3-point line and 42.9 percent (6-of-14) from the free throw line. Utah State made as many free throws as the Grizzlies attempted, shooting 14-of-23 from the charity stripe.
Utah State will be back in action on Friday night, hosting Union (Tenn.) University at 7 p.m., in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
Editor’s Note: This article is a press release from Utah State University.