LOGAN — They may not be a finished product yet, but Stew Morrill's Utah State Aggies have come a long way in the last few weeks. The Aggies (7-5) blitzed Saint Peter's (2-9) 72-47 on the second night of the Athletes in Action Classic sponsored by Gossner Foods. In the process they ran their winning streak to three games for the first time this season.
"We're making some progress. It's good to see. We did what we needed to do tonight. I thought in the first half we took control of the game," head coach Stew Morrill said. "We got different guys doing some positive things. We still turn the ball over too much and sometimes we don't execute like we need to, but they can feel it to that we are making some progress."
The Aggies used a balanced attack to jump to an early 20-4 lead and never trailed in the game. Nine of the 10 Utah State players to get into the game in the first half scored as they took a 41-17 advantage into the intermission. In one of their best defensive efforts, the Aggies held the Peacocks to 19 percent shooting in the first half and 32 percent for the game.
Morgan Grim lead all scorers with 17 points, adding in another 10 rebounds in collecting his second double-double of the season. Brockeith Pane broke out of a two-game slump with a 12 point and two assist game.
"Guys are coming along and starting to get a feel for the system and taking the shots they are supposed to," Grim said. "We have been taking what the defense has been giving us, so it's been really good."
For a team that started off shaky, the Aggies have begun to gel as a team and are playing some of their best ball both offensively and defensively of the season.
"I think we are coming together a bit," Grim added. "We didn't even know each other's names when we came in here. Now I think everyone's getting a feel for everyone and becoming a pretty good team."
Utah State faces Kent State (8-2) on Thursday night in the final game of the tournament. The Golden Flashes fell to UT-Arlington (5-5) in the early game Wednesday night, 74-73 after the Mavericks LaMarcus Reed hit a contested 3-point bucket with under three seconds to go.
"(Kent State) got beat tonight so they are going to be on it tomorrow night," said Morrill. "I think having a couple of wins and getting them on our court and having a really good team on the third night of the tournament is positive. We will see if we've made enough progress. We could play well and get beat, I've had teams do that, but we are going to have to play well to have a chance."
UT-Arlington and Saint Peter's tip-off the undercard of the final night of the tournament at 5:30.
TEXAS-ARLINGTON 74, KENT STATE 73: LaMarcus Reed scored a game-high 22 points including a 3-pointer with six seconds to play. UT Arlington (5-5) trailed 68-62 with 4:14 remaining but outscored Kent State (8-2) 12-5 down the stretch.