(San Diego State) proved why they are No. 7 in the country. They found a way to win the game when we had ourselves in a pretty good position to win it. —Utah State head coach Stew Morrill
LOGAN — Spencer Butterfield hit a 3-pointer with two seconds remaining in regulation to send Utah State to overtime against No. 7 San Diego State in front of a nearly sold-out, rocking Spectrum crowd, but it wasn’t quite enough as the Aggies ultimately fell to the Aztecs, 74-69, in overtime Saturday night.
Xavier Thames led the Aztecs, scoring a game-high 31 points, 10 of which came in the overtime period.
"(San Diego State) proved why they are No. 7 in the country," Utah State head coach Stew Morrill said. "They found a way to win the game when we had ourselves in a pretty good position to win it."
Preston Medlin and Butterfield did the scoring damage from the outside for the Aggies as big man Jarred Shaw battled foul trouble all night. Butterfield finished with a team-high 19 points, with 15 coming in the second half and overtime to go with eight rebounds. Medlin scored nine of his 12 points after the break.
The Aggies finished 9-of-18 from deep, but no shot was bigger for the Aggies than Butterfield's triple to end regulation and send the game to overtime tied at 57.
"I didn't think we were going to get anything off," Morrill said. "It was kind of a miracle shot. A great shot on his part."
Freshman Jalen Moore made his second consecutive start for the injured Kyle Davis and had arguably the best game of his young career, finishing with a career-best 16 points.
TeNale Roland scored just three points, but his ballhandling was missed in overtime after the senior point guard fouled out in the final moments of regulation. Against near constant pressure from the SDSU defense, USU turned the ball over 17 times, leading to 15 Aztec points.
"TeNale (Roland) played a great game," Butterfield said. "He handled the pressure really well and managed the game great."
Butterfield hit another trey two minutes into the overtime period to give Utah State a 62-61 lead, but the Aggies didn't score again until 16 seconds remained on the clock. The Aztecs scored eight straight points down the stretch and stymied the USU offense.21 comments on this story
"We could have been more patient at some points," Moore said on what the team could have done differenly in overtime. "We had some turnovers that weren't good. In overtime they started knocking down their free throws, we had our chance with free throws during the game. We just couldn't capatilze."
The Aztecs finshed 20 of 29 from the charity stripe. The Aggies made only two of their seven free throw attempts.
Utah State will try and shake off the disappointment on Tuesday night with another 9 p.m. start against New Mexico in the Spectrum.
Kraig Williams is a 2010 Utah State University graduate and regular Deseret News sports blogger. He can be followed on Twitter @DesNewsKraig.