Utah State trails favored Kansas State 33-22 at halftime in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Wildcat senior guard Jacob Pullen led Kansas State with 10 points but it was the team's defense that stymied USU.
Also frustrating for the Aggies' was the team's inability to hit free throws, missing four of five from the charity stripe.
Pooh Williams kept USU close with eight points but the rest of the Aggies seemed to struggle with leading scorers Tai Wesley and Brockeith Pane combined for three points by hitting one of seven shots between them.
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The Aggies, who tied the school record for victories, are making their 20th appearance in the NCAAs and third straight. They will try to win their first game in the event since 2001, when they knocked off Ohio State. Utah State lost just once in the WAC regular season (Idaho) and dropped games to BYU (78-72) and Georgetown (68-51). The Aggies have been strong defensively, ranked fourth in field-goal percentage against (38.3) and third in scoring defense (58.2) in the nation. Senior forward Tai Wesley, the WAC player of the year, leads the team in scoring (14.7) and rebounding (8.0). Junior guard Brockeith Pane, the WAC tournament MVP, averages 11.6 points. and senior guard Brian Green 10.6.
UP NEXT: Winner plays the winner of Wisconsin-Belmont on Saturday.
PreviewNo. 12 USU vs. No. 5 Kansas State
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