OGDEN In the first two games of the 2007-08 season, the Utah State Aggies are averaging an abnormal 21 turnovers per game.
The Aggies got away with 19 turnovers and beat Southern Utah on Friday night, but Saturday they turned the ball over 23 times and it cost them in the 78-71 loss to Weber State, which snapped a string of six straight losses by the Wildcats to USU.
"We turned it over time and time again," USU coach Stew Morrill said.
Utah State trailed by four points with 33 seconds left, and DeUndrae Spraggins, who coughed up the ball five times, threw the ball away. Jaycee Carroll was then called for an intentional foul, and Brody Van Brocklin hit one of two foul shots to stretch the lead to five.
Though it didn't matter, the Aggies' final possession of the game ended in a turnover.
"Taking care of the ball is always something we've taken pride in, and we just threw it all over the lot," Morrill said.
The Aggies had 11 turnovers the first half and Weber State (1-0) managed just eight points from those gifts.
The second half was a different story.
Utah State turned the ball over 12 times and Weber scored 17 points of those miscues.
"We've got to cut down on that, and I think it will help us defensively," Utah State point guard Kris Clark said. "They came out and shot 60 percent (from the field) in the second half. There is no way you can win a game with something like that happening."
Aggie starters were responsible for 19 turnovers: Spraggins had five; Carroll and Clark had four each; Stephen DuCharme and Gary Wilkinson, who scored 21 points, had three each.
Clark is taking it personal.
"It's got to be from example by me doing it myself," he said. "I can't go telling a guy to do something when I'm not myself."
The Aggies got off to a slow start with turnovers last year. Despite starting the year 3-1, the Aggies had 21 turnovers in a loss to Northwestern State, and 17, 22, and 11, respectively, in wins over Centenary, Drake and Weber State.
"They might have to learn it (taking care of the ball) the hard way. It's not like we haven't stressed it (in practice)," Morrill said. "...We do things in practice if you turn the ball over you have to run. We do all kinds of things, and the message isn't getting across."The Aggies have the day off today before playing their third game in four nights, Monday when they host Montana-Western at 7 p.m. in the Smith Spectrum.
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