SAN JOSE, Calif. — Sophomore guard Preston Medlin had 26 points in leading Utah State to a 71-61 road win at San Jose State Thursday, giving the Aggies consecutive wins for just the third time this season as USU improved to 16-14 overall and 7-6 in Western Athletic Conference play. SJSU falls to 9-20 and 1-12 in league play with the loss.
Utah State also increased its winning streak against San Jose State to 10 straight games, including four straight on the road, as the Aggies improved to 3-10 on the season away from home.
Medlin, who added five rebounds and two assists in the game, was 9-of-13 from the field, 5-of-8 from three-point range and 3-for-3 at the free throw line. Senior guard Brockeith Pane added 14 points and six assists and sophomore forward Mitch Bruneel scored 12 points off the bench as the Aggie reserves out-scored San Jose State's bench players 18-5. Overall, Bruneel was 4-of-5 from three-point range.
James Kinney had 24 points and Wil Carter notched a double-double with 19 points and 13 rebounds to lead San Jose State.
Utah State shot 50 percent from the field for the third time in its last six games and for the ninth time this year as it finished the game shooting 55.1 percent (27-49), including 47.4 percent from three-point range (9-19) and 66.7 percent at the free throw line (8-12). USU also had 18 assists and just eight turnovers, marking its fourth-straight game and ninth time this year it finished a game with single-digit turnovers.
After shooting 44.8 percent in the first-half, San Jose State finished the game shooting just 38.6 percent (22-57), including just 27.8 percent from three-point range as Utah State has now held 15 of its opponents under 40 percent shooting from the field and under 30 percent shooting from three-point range. SJSU did make 85.7 percent of its free throws (12-14). The Spartans also dominated the glass, out-rebounding the Aggies by 13 (34-21), as Utah State entered the game having out-rebounded seven of its previous eight opponents.
Medlin scored 11 of Utah State's first 13 points as the Aggies built an early 13-8 lead. USU later took a 21-11 lead with 11:43 to play following Bruneel's second three-pointer of the half and the Aggies later led by 10 at 23-13 before San Jose State finished the half on a 17-10 run to make the half-time score 33-30.
San Jose State continued its run with four straight points to start the second-half to take its only lead of the game at 34-33 following a pair of Carter free throws. Medlin then hit a trey on Utah State's next possession, followed by a layup from Carter to make the score 36-36. From there, USU went on a 12-0 run and the Spartans never got closer than eight points the remainder of the game as the Aggies posted the 71-61 win after leading by as many as 15 at 60-45 following a free throw from senior forward Morgan Grim with 7:48 remaining.
With the win, Utah State improved to 13-2 on the season when leading at the half and 11-2 this year when scoring 70-plus points in a game.
Utah State will conclude its regular season at Hawai'i on Saturday, Mar. 3 at 10 p.m. (MT), before traveling to Las Vegas next week for the WAC Tournament which starts on Thursday, Mar. 8.
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