LOGAN — Utah State broke the Western Athletic Conference record for most consecutive men's basketball conference wins with their 20th straight WAC victory in a 74-57 win over the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs in the Smith Spectrum on Thursday night.
The victory came in true Utah State fashion, with everyone on the court contributing to the overall team success. The Aggies finished with five players in double figures, led by Tai Wesley's 14 points.
"We feel like we have a target on our back, and each night people are going to give us their best shots," Wesley said. "That's OK because we really want to play against the best competition."
The target will only get larger with the record of 20 straight WAC wins, but it is not something the Aggies are going to worry too much about.
"We didn't know about it until yesterday," Wesley said about the record. "It is something that we haven't really talked about. It is something that is cool. It is definitely special to be a part of breaking that record, but it is nothing to dwell on or get caught up in."
"It's pretty cool," USU teammate Brian Green said. "It takes a lot of work to get that.
"Hopefully we can keep it going, take it one game at a time and not get too caught up on all the records. … We don't really talk about that kind of stuff."
"It's always good to be a part of something special," Brockeith Pane said. "I always want to put myself and my teammates into a different category than everyone else."
The Aggies started the game on a 16-2 run and never looked back. The visiting Bulldogs were never able to get any closer than eight points after USU's initial burst.
"Utah State is a very good team," Louisiana Tech head coach Kerry Rupp said. "I thought that we had some good runs at them to try and get back into the game. Their offensive rebounding kind of cut those runs off."
The Aggies finished with 16 offensive rebounds, leading to 18 second-chance points. Aggie guard Tyler Newbold had 11 total rebounds to lead the team.
"I was very pleased with our players tonight; everyone played solid," Utah State head coach Stew Morrill said. "We gave a good effort defensively, and we executed well."
The player Morrill was most pleased with was point guard Brockeith Pane. In his best all-around game as an Aggie, Pane flirted with a triple-double, scoring 11 points, dishing nine assists and grabbing seven rebounds. Just as important, Pane turned over the ball just twice.
"Obviously, Brockeith's line was awfully good," Morrill said. "That's nice to see nine assists to two turnovers. That's an area he's been working on."
"I want to be more of a stat-stuffer and do more to help my team win," Pane said. "The big guys were getting easy looks, and I was able to run the ball in transition."
In a testament to how the team has built its 20-game win streak, after Thursday's game, everyone had already turned their focus to running the streak up to 21 against New Mexico State on Saturday.
"My major concern is the other Aggies coming in now," Morrill said about the record-setting streak. Utah had two streaks of 19 in the late '90s.
"I was at Colorado State when Utah set the record," Morrill added. "It's a different league now, and a different time, but it's still a nice thing for us. It's a good accomplishment; hopefully, we can extend it."