Junior guard Preston Medlin scored a season-high 23 points and Utah State (8-1) made a season-high 12 three-pointers to record a 73-61 win against UC Davis (3-7) during day two of the 2012 World Vision Basketball Challenge on Friday.
Utah State, who won its seventh-straight game on the year, improves to 45-1 all-time in tournaments it hosts. USU also upped its home record to 6-1 this season and 216-19 under 15th year head coach Stew Morrill.
Medlin scored 16 of his 23 points in the second half as he finished the game shooting 9-of-17 from the field, 4-of-10 from three-point range and 1-for-1 at the free-throw line for his 14th-career 20-point game, as well as his ninth career game with four or more treys. Junior guard/forward Spencer Butterfield tied his career-high by scoring 14 points for the second-straight night, as he was 4-of-9 from the field, 4-of-6 from three-point range and 2-for-2 at the free-throw line.
Junior guard TeNale Roland was the third Utah State player to score in double-figures as he finished with a season-high 11 points off the bench, shooting 4-of-7 from the field, 2-of-2 from three-point range and 1-for-2 at the free-throw line. Senior forward Kyisean Reed added nine points and eight rebounds, while junior guard Marvin Jean tied his career-high for the second time in as many nights by scoring eight points off the bench.
Ryan Sypkens scored 12 points and Corey Hawkins added 11 for UC Davis, while Ryan Howley had a game-best 12 rebounds. After setting a tournament record with 15 rebounds Thursday night, Howley now has 29 total rebounds in the two days, needing four more to tie the tournament total record for individual rebounds, currently held by two players with 33 total.
Utah State finished the game shooting 42.4 percent from the field, snapping a streak of shooting above 50 percent in its previous four games. USU did, however, make a season-high 54.5 percent of its three-pointers and converted 68.8 percent of its free throws. UC Davis shot 46.0 percent, which is a season-high for a Utah State opponent this year. UCD also made 33.3 percent of its three-pointers and 50.0 percent of its free throws.
Once again, Utah State won the battle of the boards as it out-rebounded UC Davis by three (35-of-32), marking the ninth time in as many games this year that it has won rebounding battle. Utah State also dished out 20 assists, while committing a season low six turnovers.
UC Davis scored the first five points of the game before Utah State scored 15 of the next 17 points to lead 15-7 just six minutes into the contest. UCD then scored the next 15 points to take its largest lead of the game at 22-15 with 10:27 to play in the half, only to see USU go on a 14-4 run to regain the lead at 29-26 following a Roland three-pointer. Utah State eventually built its lead back to eight at 38-30 following a Jean three-pointer before UC Davis finished the half on a 10-1 run over the final 2:59 to take a 40-39 lead into intermission.
UC Davis shot 55.2 percent in the first-half, including 57.1 percent from behind the arc, while Utah State shot just 43.8 percent but was 8-of-16 from three.
After scoring seven points in the first-half, Medlin exploded for 16 points in the second stanza, including 13 of the team’s first 17 points courtesy of three treys and a pair of two-point baskets. Medlin’s third trey of the final 20 minutes ignited a 10-1 USU run that turned a 51-49 game into a 61-50 lead for the home team with 10:03 to play. From there, UC Davis never got closer than eight points and USU took its largest lead of the contest at 73-59 with 1:13 left following a pair of Butterfield free throws en route to the 12-point win.
During the final 20 minutes, Utah State out-scored UC Davis 34-21 as it held the visitors to just 33.3 percent shooting including just 3-of-14 from three-point range.
UC Davis will play the first game during the final day of the tournament Saturday against Nicholls State at 5:30 p.m., followed by Utah State hosting Southern Illinois at 8 p.m.
For USU men's basketball ticket information, fans can contact the USU Athletics Ticket Office over the phone by calling 1-888-USTATE-1 or 435-797-0305 during regular hours of operation. Fans can also buy their tickets in person at the USU Ticket Office inside the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum or online.
Doug Hoffman is the assistant athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.