Utah State made up a 10-point deficit with 10 points from Randy Funk in the final few minutes of regulation time and led 86-83 with :38 left on two Allen Gordon free throws, but a double overtime later, it was University of the Pacific that was still standing, alone in third place in the Big West Conference.
Pacific, now 8-6, outscored Utah State (7-7) 9-1 in the second overtime at Spanos Center Saturday night for a 100-91 win.The game was tied at 86-86 in regulation time when Dell Demps hit a 25-foot early offense shot over Kendall Youngblood to take away USU's three-point lead and force overtime, and it was tied at 91-91 after the first overtime.
"He was way out," said Aggie Coach Kohn Smith, "with Youngblood right on him. It was a great shot. That's the shot you kinda want him to take."
The Aggies had a good chance to win it in the first overtime, but Youngblood, who finished the night with a team-hgih 24 points, missed the first of a one-and-one free throw opportunity with :05 left after making a steal in the backcourt to even get the chance, rebounded his own miss and missed the put-back attempt to leave it 91-91.
"You can't fault Youngblood on the free throws," said Smith. "He made the plays to get the free throws."
Youngblood, an 80-percent free-throw shooter, finished the night 5-for-11 from the free-throw line.
The Aggies had the first point of the second overtime when Gordon missed one and made one from the free throw line, but the Tigers' Don Lyttle made a 20-foot shot to put the Tigers up 93-91, and they would never again trail or be tied. An Aggie layup by Gary Patterson was blocked by Randy Lavender, a Gordon shot was blocked and a Jay Goodman shot became an air ball.
With 1:50 left in the second overtime, Lyttle scored from underneath for a 95-92 lead and his 23rd and 24th points of the game, and Youngblood missed on a reverse. With :36 left, Lyttle fouled out and put Youngblood on the line, but he missed both shots, and Funk had to foul Lavender, who made one of his two to up the lead to 96-92. Two more free throws and a two-point basket gave the Tigers the victory in the battle for third.
Funk fouled out with :33 left in the second overtime and had 13 points for the game.
Utah State now returns home to face New Mexico State Thursday and Long Beach State Saturday in its last two home games of the season.
"This game was more important for them," said Smith, "because we're still OK for third if we take care of ourselves at home."
Pacific's Demps, who had been in a nine-game slump because of knee tendinitis - that included his scoring three points at Utah State Jan. 17 in a 74-64 Aggie win - finished with a season-high 30 points that included the last five points of the first overtime to keep Utah State from winning it then and there.