GAME NOTES: The Utah State Aggies shoot for a seventh home win tonight as they close out the Basketball Travelers Classic versus the Troy Trojans in non- conference play at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
Utah State has dropped only two games in 10 opportunities to this point in the season, bowing to BYU and Pacific in back-to-back affairs. The team began this tournament with a 68-52 win over Western Illinois on Thursday and followed that up with a 77-71 overtime triumph versus UC Santa Barbara to move to 6-1 at home.
As for the Trojans, they saw their losing streak stretched to three as they went from defeats against Kansas State (72-43) and UC Santa Barbara (57-54) to yet another close call last night, a 61-58 loss to Western Illinois.
USU won the only previous meeting between the programs back in 2010 by a score of 80-39.
The Trojans were paced by Tevin Calhoun who played 24 minutes as a reserve and contributed 14 points, along with five rebounds in the setback against Western Illinois last night. Kevin Thomas made good on 6-of-7 shots from the floor in order to come up with his 13 points, while Hunter Williams knocked down 3-of-6 shots behind the 3- point line towards 12 points. In addition to shooting a miserable 11-of-25 at the free-throw line, Troy also turned the ball over 15 times on the night.
Through the first nine games of the season Antoine Myers was listed as the leading scorer for the Trojans with his 12.4 ppg, followed by Thomas and Williams with 11.4 and 10.4 ppg, respectively, for a team that has been giving up almost the same number of points as they've been scoring.
Spencer Butterfield erupted for 31 points and also pulled down 10 rebounds as he helped guide the Utah State Aggies to the six-point overtime victory against the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at home last night. Also scoring in double figures for the Aggies were Preston Medlin and Ben Clifford with 14 and 10 points, respectively, while Kyle Davis accounted for 10 rebounds in the team's third straight win. Once again, the Aggies played without leading scorer Jarred Shaw (16.1 ppg) who has been suspended indefinitely for disciplinary reasons.
Butterfield is the active leading scorer for the Aggies with his 15.0 ppg, accounting for 6.5 rpg as well. A tough matchup for opposing defenses, while Butterfield is certainly a threat to hit the glass hard against foes, he is also one of the best 3-point shooters on the unit with 23-of-46 accuracy. Medlin (14.0 ppg) is also a perimeter threat with his 46.3 percent effort on the outside, boosting the team's overall accuracy beyond the arc to 41.4 percent.
Even without the services of Shaw the Aggies appear to be more than capable of taking down these non-conference opponents, which isn't a good sign for him as he waits to be reinstated. Unless something drastic happens tonight Utah State, which dominates at home, should be in line for yet another victory.
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