Perfection continues as Aggies down Pacific
By Doug Layne
Now the team of low expectation is the team to beat in the Big West as the Aggies remain perfect at 12-0, having defeated the University of Pacific, 64-55, Saturday night in the Spectrum.
The Aggies opened the game with a three-point lead and never trailed. Midway through the first half the Aggies started to take advantage of a couple of turnovers as Shawn Daniels nailed a three pointer to help lead USU to a 9-2 run. It looked as if the Aggies were ready to blow out the Tigers but Pacific kept on changing its defense, bringing the margin down to single digits. The Aggies had an answer each time Pacific threw a new defense at them. USU shot over 52 percent in the first half and enjoyed a 11-point lead at the break.
In the second half, USU enjoyed a lead as big as 12 points. But much like the first half the Tiger defense stepped it up a notch and allowed USU to only four field goals in the last 14 minutes of play.
"They threw out a lot of defenses tonight" coach Stew Morrill said The Aggie lead was cut to six points as the team that is the worst foul shooting team struggled at the line against Pacific and went 17 for 36.
"I have no explanation for that maybe we got cocky because we made 15 the other night" Morrill said.
Fortunately for the Aggies their defense was able to shut down Pacific and hold the team to 46 percent shooting. With the win USU remains perfect against teams that are from the Golden State and now have the longest winning streak in the nation, 12.
USU will travel to New Mexico to face the other Aggies and to play one of their last two road games of the year. With the win against Pacific USU has claimed the conference title.
"It's something very special to win this division" Morrill said.
The next goal for the Aggies is to win the last four games and finish the conference season undefeated. Only two other schools have been able to go undefeated -- Long Beach and UNLV, both coached by Jerry Tarkanian. The longest winning streak in conference play is 40 games; UNLV holds that record.