Utah State basketball advances past Idaho in CIT

Deseret News

Published: Saturday, March 17 2012 10:45 p.m. MDT

LOGAN — Senior point guard Brockeith Pane dished out a career-high 11 assists and sophomore shooting guard Preston Medlin scored 17 points in leading Utah State to a convincing 76-56 home win against Idaho on Saturday night in the second round of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament (CIT).

With the win, Utah State advances to the quarterfinals of the CIT and will play on Wednesday against the winner of the Weber State vs. Loyola Marymount game, which is being played on Sunday. The site of the USU's next game is yet to be determined.

"We were solid offensively," Utah State coach Stew Morrill said. "We shot the ball decently, Brockeith (Pane) had a nice night passing the ball. Idaho has had a real nice season so that is a good win for us."

Overall, Utah State has now won five of its last six games and moves four games over .500 for the first time this year with its 19-15 record. Idaho ends its season with a 19-14 ledger.

Junior forward Kyisean Reed also scored in double-figures for the second time in as many games for Utah State as he finished the night with 15 points and a team-high tying five rebounds. Medlin also had five boards to go along with four assists.

Junior center Kyle Barone had nine points and seven rebounds to lead Idaho as no player scored in double-figures for the visitors.

Utah State never trailed in the game as it scored the first four points on layups by Reed and Pane and later took its first double-digit advantage of the night at 13-3 on a layup from freshman center Jordan Stone.

"Coach really emphasized for us to come out with a lot of energy and that is one thing that I think we did," Utah State guard Preston Medlin said. "We were hustling out there. We were getting rebounds, and we were making them miss shots because of our energy and that is what coach emphasized."

USU's lead swelled to 16 at 19-3 following a layup from sophomore forward Mitch Bruneel and the home team led by as many as 24 in the first-half before taking a commanding 39-16 cushion into intermission.

Utah State stayed on the offensive as it scored the first seven points of the second-half to take its largest lead at any point this season at 46-16 with 18:17 to play. The Vandals answered with a mini 7-0 run but never got closer than 18 points the rest of the game as USU coasted to the 20-point win.

Utah State finished the game shooting 49.2 percent (29-59), including 37.5 percent from three-point range (6-16) and 85.7 percent at the free throw line (12-14). After shooting just 27.3 percent in the first half (6-22) as it missed its first seven shots, Idaho made 51.9 percent of its field goals (14-27) in the second-half and finished the game shooting 40.8 percent (20-49). The Vandals were also 4-of-14 (.286) from behind the arc and 12-of-18 (.667) at the free throw line.

"It's a very tough place to play; they're very well coached," said Idaho coach Don Verlin. "They haven't won 92 percent of their games here for no reason at all. Like I told our guys afterward, this game needs to be flushed down the toilet. I don't think we need to focus on this game as far as our season goes. We've had the most wins since 1992-93, 37 wins in the last two seasons."

Idaho did out-rebound Utah State by three (33-30), marking just the third time in its last 13 games that USU has been beaten on the glass. The Aggies did dish out 21 assists, its second-most in a game this year.

CIT

Second round

Saturday's games

Robert Morris 69, Toledo 51

Oakland 84, Buffalo 76

Mercer 64, Georgia State 59

Rice 74, Drake 68

Utah State xx, Idaho xx

Today's games

South Carolina-Upstate (21-12) at Old Dominion (21-13), 1 p.m.

Manhattan (21-12) at Fairfield (20-14), 2 p.m.

Weber State (25-6) at Loyola Marymount (20-12), 4 p.m.

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