LOGAN Utah State's Jaycee Carroll had an easy excuse for scoring four, five and six points in three previous games on Senior Night: He wasn't a senior.
Just after he and fellow seniors Stephen DuCharme and Kris Clark were honored prior to the game, Carroll kissed the center court, kissed his wife and then proceeded to drop 33 on Fresno State in Utah State's 79-66 victory Monday night.
With the win, the Aggies finished the year undefeated at home (17-0) for only the fourth time in Smith Spectrum history, and Carroll finished his career 58-4 in the building the Aggies call home, while DuCharme and Clark lost just one game there.
"I've been here a long time I've been here for four years and I've played a lot on that court lots of practices," Carroll said. "It seemed like an appropriate tribute to this place (to kiss the court)."
Carroll connected on 10-of-18 shots (6-of-11 from three) and went 7-for-7 from the line.
"It's a great night for everybody and (we) finished the season at home undefeated," DuCharme said. "We need to continue these next two games in the WAC and win these next two games and get up on top, and then finish it up in the WAC Tournament."
If Utah State wins at Boise State (Thursday) and Idaho (Saturday), it will tie for the WAC title and earn the No. 1 seed in next week's conference tournament due to tiebreakers.
The Aggies (21-9, 10-4) lost to Fresno State last year in the home season finale or else the Aggies would have been undefeated at home last year. One year later the Aggies wouldn't be denied.
Carroll scored 15 points in the first seven minutes, while DuCharme, who started for the first time since Dec. 5, scored six of his 13 points in the same time frame and the Aggies led by 12.
Wilkinson and Tai Wesley then took over in the middle and combined to score six, and the Aggies built their biggest lead of the half at 19.
"He (Carroll) was on fire early, and I think it almost came too easy for us," Utah State coach Stew Morrill said. "We jumped up to a pretty big margin, and they (the Bulldogs) were not going away. They kept battling."
The Bulldogs, behind seven straight points from Kevin Bell, who finished with 31, trimmed the lead to seven with 1:04 left in the half. Utah State was able to get it back to 10 at the half.
Carroll scored 16 more in the second half, and his outside game helped the bigs in the middle, especially Wilkinson, who scored 15 points in the final 20 minutes. He finished with a double-double by grabbing 10 rebounds.
"Our defense really hurt us at times and certainly Jaycee Carroll," Fresno State coach Steve Cleveland said. "The big difference was their big men scoring inside. They scored around 40 points, and we only had around 12. We just didn't do a very good job defensively in the post."
Fresno State (13-17, 5-10) cut the lead back to five two minutes into the second half, but DuCharme hit 1 of 2 foul pitches, and Carroll and Wilkinson had lay-ups and Utah State had a double-digit lead at 10.
At that point, Fresno State's Dwight O'Neil was whistled for a technical foul, and the Aggies made the Bulldogs pay. Carroll hit both foul shots and then hit a 3-pointer to increase the lead to 15.
Fresno State, which has lost seven straight road games, got the lead down to seven one more time on a three-pointer by Bell with five minutes left, but that was as close as the Bulldogs would get.
Bell scored 15 of his 31 in the second half. He finished 13 of 19 from the field (3 of 5 from three). He also had five rebounds and four assists.
"We had no answer for Bell," Morrill said. "We have had no answer for him for several years now. I'm sure (they're) glad Jaycee is a senior, and I'm darn glad Kevin Bell is a senior. I don't want to seen him anymore in my life, in my nightmares, nothing."Utah State shot 49.1 percent from the field, while Fresno State shot 44.8 percent.
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