We didn't turn it over as much," Morrill said. "We executed a bit better, made some shots. It was one of those runs that went our way.
LOGAN — Sophomore guard Preston Medlin scored a team-high 22 points to lead the Utah State men's basketball team to a 78-53 victory over Seattle University Saturday at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. Medlin added four rebounds for the Aggies, and poor shooting proved costly for the Redhawks in defeat.
"Obviously Preston had a really good game," coach Stew Morrill said. "He's getting more comfortable every game. He's got a good feel for the game, and he's difficult to guard. He can shoot the three, or go by you and make plays."
The Aggies got off to a fast start, scoring the first five points of the game on a layup from junior forward Kyisean Reed and a 3-pointer from Medlin before Seattle got on the board. Guards Sterling Carter and Prince Obasi led Seattle with eight points apiece.
Despite shooting only 63.2 percent from the free-throw line in the first half, the Aggies built an early seven point advantage at 17-10 during a six and a half minute stretch without a field goal. USU earned its way to the charity stripe five times and hit eight free throws during the stretch.
Seattle came out of a time out and went to work to chip away at the deficit. The Redhawks pulled within three with six minutes left in the half on a layup from sophomore forward Clarence Trent, and five different players scored as Seattle outscored Utah State 9-5 over a four minute span.
Then the Aggies sparked.
The final six minutes belonged to Utah State as the Aggies closed the half on a 13-5 run sparked by a Medlin 3-pointer, and freshman forward Ben Clifford hit back to back baskets to push the lead to double digits. After baskets by Reed and senior guard Brockieth Pane, the Aggies went into the break with a 35-24 edge.
Morrill felt the team played more effectively in this game.
"We didn't turn it over as much," Morrill said. "We executed a bit better, made some shots. It was one of those runs that went our way."
Reed had a solid game for the Aggies, as he finished with 13 points, and was one of three Aggie players in double digits in scoring. The 6-foot-6-inch California native tallied the first three points of the second half as USU blew the game wide open. The 11 point halftime lead quickly swelled to 17, as Medlin and Reed each scored and a fast break dunk from sophomore Danny Berger capped an 8-2 run.
Berger finished with 11 points on 2-of-4 shooting, including 6-for-6 from the free-throw line, and it was smooth sailing for USU from there as the Redhawks got no closer than 15 the rest of the way en route to the 25 point win.
The Aggies shot 50.0 percent from the field as a team and held the Redhawks to just 29.2 percent.
The Aggies improve to 5-5 on the season with the win, while Seattle fell to 2-7 on the year.
Utah State hosts Texas-Arlington in its first game of the Annual Gossner's Food Classic, in what will be the second of four consecutive home games for the Aggies. That game is scheduled for Dec. 20 at 8 P.M.