LOGAN It is one thing to give up 100 points and lose by 30, like the Utah State Aggies did last week at New Mexico State, and it's another to have to relive it.
That's just what the Aggies did.
Less than 48 hours after the humiliating loss, Utah State watched the game film and then buried it, but not before gleaning out valuable information.
It appears the Aggies learned their lesson in posting a convincing 77-63 victory over Nevada on Saturday night to remain unbeaten (13-0) at the Smith Spectrum.
The Aggies put the game out of reach early by scoring on their first nine possessions of the game to lead by 14 after six minutes. The Wolf Pack (13-8, 5-3) never really threatened despite cutting the Aggies' lead to eight early in the second half.
"Coming off a 30-point loss, it's not hard to be (aggressive) if you want to be competitive and get that taste out of your mouth," said Utah State's Gary Wilkinson, who recorded a double-double with 23 points and 10 rebounds. "It worked out. We came out with a lot of intensity and played well as a team."
For a rare occasion this year, the Aggies smelled blood and pounced instead of letting their opponent come back.
"The bench came in and held up that intensity level," Wilkinson said. "Generally teams have come back, and I think on the defensive end is where we maintained our lead."
While the Aggies were scorching hot, the Wolf Pack missed seven of their first eight shots. Nevada managed to cut the lead to 11 with 6:14 to go, but Utah State scored on seven consecutive possessions at one point just before the half to build the lead to as high as 18 with 2:20 left in the first half.
Nevada whittled the lead back to 11 at the break due in large part to JaVale McGee, who had nine points in the half, all of which came after offensive rebounds.
"Utah State really shot the ball," Nevada coach Mark Fox said. "I was a great way to start the game. They came out breathing fire. We didn't do a good job at defending them."
Utah State shot 66.7 percent from the field, and Jaycee Carroll, who had 17 of his game-high 24 points in the first 20 minutes, went 6-of-12 from the field in the half.
It was just the start he needed and the Aggies needed especially after hitting just 4-of-12 shots in the loss to NMSU.
"Tonight I came out with a real aggressive mindset and rather than take what they gave me (I went out to) take what I got," Wilkinson said.
Wilkinson had 16 of his 23 in the first half, while Tai Wesley had 10 of his 14.
"Obviously, Jaycee in the first half was amazing, and Gary might have had his best game as an Aggie," Utah State coach Stew Morrill said.
Wilkinson connected on 9-of-11 shots (1-of-2 from the three-point line) and 4-of-5 from the foul line. Carroll was 8-of-17 and Wesley was 5-of-10.
"It was a great start for us and it was big factor to have a big cushion at the beginning of the game," Morrill said. "... It was nice that we did not back down and we played aggressive. We got a home win and we needed to defend our home court for sure."
The Aggies shot 54 percent from the field, while Nevada shot just 39 percent.
Marcelus Kemp paced Nevada with 16 points, while McGee finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds.
With the win, the Aggies (16-6, 6-1) maintain a one-game lead over Boise State (16-5, 7-2), which beat Idaho on Saturday, for first place in the Western Athletic Conference.Utah State begins a tough stretch in league play by playing four of its next five games on the road beginning Thursday at 8 p.m. Fresno State.
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