Utah State basketball: Aggies get defensive, wallop Grand Canyon

Published: Friday, Nov. 5 2010 11:32 p.m. MDT

LOGAN — It was a defensive showcase for Utah State in their final tune-up for the regular season as they shut down Grand Canyon 76-46.

"Coach (Stew) Morrill was telling us before the game that he didn't think that (Grand Canyon) respected our defense from watching our film from the first exhibition," Tai Wesley said. "We wanted to come out and prove something."

Morrill was not quite as impressed.

"We made a little bit of progress defensively from one week to the next," Morrill said. "We still have a long way to go."

If that's true, future opponents should be worried if they ever get there. The Aggies held the visiting Antelopes to just 29 percent shooting and forced 12 turnovers.

As the defense has improved, so has the ability for the Aggies to get out and run. The Aggies pushed the pace after defensive rebounds and turnovers and were able to set up easy baskets.

"We were able to get stops and run, and that got us some easy looks," Wesley said of his 23-point night.

The key cog of the high-octane offense is starting point guard Brokeith Pane. The junior college transfer had 10 assists to go along with his eight points and five rebounds.

"Brokeith is getting more and more comfortable in this system and that is just going to help our team grow," Wesley said of his new point guard.

"Coach told me it's my job to get everyone involved and make sure the six seniors get their shots," Pane said about spreading the ball around.

For the six seniors on the team this marks the last exhibition game as their last regular season starts next week with a home game against in-state rival Weber State.

"Obviously the level of competition improves with four straight in-state games coming up," Morrill said.

The seniors are just eager to get to the games that count.

"I'm excited for this season," Wesley said. "I think we have a good chance to be a really good team."

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