Aggies win conference tourney, get automatic invitation to NCAA
The victories raised the Aggies' overall record to 28-5 and extended their longest winning streak in the nation to 19 games.
The Friday game against the Nevada Wolf Pack marked the third and last time USU would play against their conference rival. The Aggies won both regular season games this year against the Pack. Unlike the first two meetings, this game was a lot closer as the Wolf Pack refused to give in to the Aggies, who averaged 15-point margins of victory in the first two meetings.
The Pack sent the message at the start of the game as Terrance Green, who scored 12 points on the night, made a three-pointer to give the Pack the early lead. But the Pack did not enjoy their lead for long as Curtis Bobb hit a three-pointer to help the Aggies to a 12-2 run.
The Pack kept it close as Joao Santos, who finished the game with 17 points, made a 10-foot jumper right before the half to bring the Pack to within four and to go into the half with the Aggies up 28-24.
In the first half the Aggies struggled as they shot only 33 percent from the field. Fortunately the Aggies the Pack struggled from the field as USU held its rival to only shooting 27 percent from the field in the first half.
The second half remained close until Bobb, who finished the game with 14 points including making four three-pointers, drained his third one of the night to give the Aggies their biggest lead of the game and put USU up 43-34.
The Pack once again refused to throw in the towel and disappoint their home crowd and cut the lead to two as Nevada went on a 9-2 run. But the Pack never came any closer again as Shawn Daniels came up with one of his 10 rebounds of the night to seal the victory. Daniels also scored seven points, blocked four shots and managed one steal. Troy Rolle got it done at the foul line as he went 9-for-11 and added two more baskets as he scored 13.
The Aggies went on one last run as they took a eight point lead late in the second half and never had to look back as they swept the Pack once again 69-64. USU shot 58 percent in the second half from the field and held the Pack to shooting just over 35 percent in the second half. Overall USU held the Pack to shooting just 30 percent from the field just under the season average of 40 percent. The Aggies also out rebounded the Pack 41-37 but struggled with turnovers as they had 15 compared to the Pack's eight turnovers.
The Utah State Aggies will play tomorrow night in the Big West Championship against their rival the New Mexico State Aggies. NMSU advanced to the championship as they defeated Long Beach State 89-84 in over time . This will be the third meeting between both these teams. USU won the first two games. That last time that USU played New Mexico State it became the Tony Brown and Billy Keys and Eric Channing shows Brown finished the game with a career high of 27 points and Channing and Keys combined for 35 points including making 17 straight points together in the second half.
The Aggies' victory Saturday against New Mexico State was the last
scheduled game in the rivalry. The New Mexico State Aggies will be taking
off to play in the Sunbelt conference next season.