CEDAR CITY — Brian Green went 4-for-5 from 3-point range and scored 19 points to lead Utah State past Southern Utah 66-53 on Saturday night.
Green, a reserve, paced Utah State's 28-11 advantage in bench points.
The Aggies (2-1) also got 12 points from Tai Wesley.
Ramell Taylor of the Thunderbirds (1-2) led all scorers with 22, but he was the only Southern Utah player to crack double figures.
After Taylor scored inside to pull the Thunderbirds within 36-32 at the 15:53 mark of the second half, Wesley hit two short shots to give USU a 40-32 edge. Green then hit a 3-pointer and four straight free throws and Pooh Williams hit a jumper to stake the Aggies to a 49-32 lead.
"The frustrating thing to me is we got close and then we let their best shooter get open and make shots," SUU coach Roger Reid said. "We knew Brian Green was a shooter but we let him get too many wide-open shots."
Utah State built a strong shooting advantage, hitting 22 of 45 (48.9 percent) to 13 of 36 (36.1 percent) for the Thunderbirds. The Aggies also converted seven 3-pointers to Southern Utah's four, though the Thunderbirds did hit 23 of 25 free throws.
The Aggies held a 33-23 halftime edge over Southern Utah, which never led.
"We were close but then we stopped executing, too, which is also disappointing," Reid added. "I thought we played hard but we've got to play smart, too. We can't let them control the game, and we did, we let them bump us and push us around, and we stopped executing."10 comments on this story
USU held the Thunderbirds to a season-low 36.1 percent shooting, but the Thunderbirds stayed in the game by hitting 23-of-25 free throws and staying even with USU on the boards, as the Aggies had 26 rebounds to 25 for SUU.
Wesley added 12 points for Utah State, giving him 1,297 in his career and moving him into 15th-place all-time in school history. He finished the game 4-of-6 from both the field and free-throw line.
Utah State will return home for a pair of games this week as it hosts in-state rival Utah on Wednesday and Northeastern on Saturday. Both games will be televised live on CW30 beginning at 7 p.m.