GAME NOTES: A battle in the Beehive State is on the books for Tuesday night, as the BYU Cougars entertain the Utah State Aggies in non-conference action at the Marriott Center.
This was a game that originally had been slated to take place on December 5, but it was postponed until now after Utah State's Danny Berger collapsed at practice that week, needing the aid of CPR and a defibrillator before being taken to a local hospital.
Not only has Utah State lost the services of Berger, who was released from the hospital after a few days, the squad has also encountered two other season- ending injuries to Preston Medlin and Kyisean Reed which caused the team to fall into a slump. However, the Aggies have bounced back in a big way with four wins in their last five outings, the latest coming on Saturday night versus New Mexico State at home, 73-69. With the win, USU is now 9-5 in the Western Athletic Conference.
As for the Cougars, they too were in action over the weekend, clashing with Portland in West Coast Conference play here at the Marriott Center. BYU had dropped the two previous outings on the schedule, but it rebounded with a solid 86-72 romp over the Pilots at home. The victory pushed the Cougars to 12-2 in their own building and 9-4 in the competitive WCC.
In terms of the all-time series between these in-state foes, USU sources show the Cougars with a 136-91 advantage, although the Aggies won the most recent encounter last season in a 69-62 final to kick off the 2011-12 campaign.
Jarred Shaw scored 24 points and pulled down eight rebounds as the Utah State Aggies held on to defeat the Aggies of New Mexico State by a slim four points in Western Athletic Conference action at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum on Saturday night. Also scoring in double figures for USU was Spencer Butterfield who dropped in 17 points to go along with six rebounds and five assists, as the team snapped NMSU's 12-game win streak.
The only player to have started every game for the Aggies this season, Shaw is both the top scorer (14.1 ppg) and rebounder (8.3 rpg) for the program at this stage. Butterfield has come on strong thanks to his added minutes and is now posting 11.6 ppg and 6.0 rpg, shooting 43.3 percent behind the 3-point line, which makes him one of the most dangerous long-range shooters on the roster.
Tyler Haws recorded 28 points and eight rebounds as the BYU Cougars defeated the Portland Pilots by 14 points in West Coast Conference play at the Marriott Center over the weekend. Also scoring in double figures for the Cougars were Brandon Davies with 23 points, followed by Craig Cusick and Matt Carlino with 10 points and seven assists apiece. BYU, which shot an impressive 59.6 percent from the floor and knocked down 6-of-13 shots beyond the arc, turned the ball over just eight times in the meeting.
Haws has been a beast for the Cougars this season, lighting up the scoreboard for 21.0 ppg while taking some of the pressure off Davies (18.0 ppg) who can focus more of his efforts in the paint (7.7 rpg) where he leads the group in rebounding and is by far the top shot-blocking threat the group has at the moment. Carlino (11.1 ppg) has had his moments in the spotlight, but more often than not he's the one setting up teammates for easy baskets with his 121 assists.
With both of these teams in a race for top billing in their respective conferences, playing outside of league play might be a bit less stressful. However, don't assume that the Cougars will show any mercy in their own building.
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