SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Junior guard and Texas native Preston Medlin netted a season-high 24 points while fellow junior, guard/forward Spencer Butterfield tied his season-high with 14 points to lead Utah State men's basketball to a 71-67 win over UTSA Saturday night at UTSA's Convocation Center in the Western Athletic Conference opener for both teams.
USU improved to 10-1 for the first time since 2008-09 and the seventh time in school history, as well as moving to 1-0 in WAC play for the fifth time in its eight years in the league. Overall, the Aggies improved to 5-3 in WAC openers, winning their last three in a row and five of the last six after dropping their first two WAC openers.
UTSA suffered its sixth loss in its last seven games, falling to 4-7 overall and losing its inaugural WAC game. The Roadrunners are in their first season in the WAC. Saturday was also the first-ever meeting between Utah State and UTSA.
The Aggies shot a season-high 62.2 percent (28-of-45) from the field, hitting 5-of-11 (45.5 percent) from three-point range, and overcame a season-low 47.6 percent (10-of-21) outing at the free-throw line.
The Roadrunners were 25-of-64 (39.1 percent) field goal shooting, making 11-of-29 (37.9 percent) behind the arc and 6-of-9 (66.7 percent) at the charity stripe.
Medlin, a native of Carrollton, Texas, who was born in San Antonio, posted a season-high 24 points on 9-of-15 shooting from the field, hitting 3-of-7 from long distance and 3-of-4 at the charity stripe. Medlin has now scored in double figures in each of the last three games. This was his eighth double-digit outing this season and the 40th of his career. He has also posted 20 or more points twice in the last three games, and has done so 15 times in his career. After not making more than two three-pointers in the first eight games of the season, Medlin has now made three or more treys in the last three games, and now has 23 career games with three or more three-pointers.
Butterfield tied his season-best for the third-straight game with 14 points. This came after he missed the Aggies' last game with an illness. He also hit a lone 3-pointer, and it was a big one in the waning minutes from deep in the right corner. Butterfield also added seven rebounds.
Junior center Jarred Shaw, who is a native of Dallas, Texas, was one rebound shy of his fifth double-double of the season. He finished with 11 points and tied a game high with nine rebounds. Senior forward Kyisean Reed added nine points and six rebounds. After out-rebounding their opponent in the previous nine games, the Aggies have now been out-rebounded in the last two contests. UTSA had a slight (32-31) rebounding edge.