LOGAN — It wasn't pretty, but the Utah State Aggies (4-1) managed to survive against Northeastern (3-2), defeating the Huskies 56-54 in the Spectrum on Saturday night.
"I said to our players, 'There is an old saying, sometimes better lucky than good,' and we were very, very lucky to win tonight," Aggies coach Stew Morrill said. "It's not a game I felt like we deserved to win."
It took a little bit of luck and a little bit of Brady Jardine down the stretch for Utah State to get the victory.
After trailing for most of the second stanza, the Aggies took their first lead of the half on a Jardine layup with just over a minute remaining.
Jardine had a great game, finishing with 15 points and 13 rebounds, but his most important play came on defense.
With just more than 10 seconds remaining and the Aggies nursing a one-point lead, Utah State forward Tyler Newbold missed the front end of a 1-and-1 free-throw situation. Husky guard Chassion Allen took off down the court, weaving through defenders, but could not convert his layup attempt with Jardine closing in on him.
"I didn't know what to do, so I just went after him," Jardine said. "Luckily, I think I went straight up enough to not have a foul called."
It was a questionable no-call that the Aggies were fortunate to have go in their direction.
"A couple close calls went our way," Morrill said. "That's college basketball. That's the nature of it. I've been on the other end of it being the road team not so long ago."
The biggest problem the Aggies had was an inability to hit open shots.
The Aggies shot just 38 percent from the field, and were even worse from behind the line, converting on only 3-of-18 attempts from beyond the arc.
"I think it was just an off night for our guards," Tai Wesley said. "We had good looks. We didn't take a lot of bad shots. We will live with those kinds of shots. Everybody has an off-game and our team had an off-night, but we were able to pull out the victory so we were happy with that."
Coach Morrill agreed that the looks were good, the shots just were not falling.
"We had one of these shooting walls last year," Morrill said. "I am not really concerned about that. It will come around. They just have to settle in a little bit. We got to believe that we can make shots."
The Aggies will be hoping the shots fall as they take to the road next week with games at Denver and Big East power Georgetown.