lucky than good,' Stew says of latest victory
By Connor H. Jones
December 3, 2008 | Coach Stew Morrill and the USU
men's basketball team senaked by the Anteaters of UC
Irvine on Tuesday night.
The final score may make it seem like a easy victory
for the Aggies, but in actuality the game seemed to
be all Irvine.
"Better lucky than good," said Morrill. "We were very
fortunate to win that game."
In the book the Aggies are still perfect -- 5 wins,
0 losses -- but with games against in-state rivals BYU
and Utah coming up, the Aggie defense needs to step
"We offered little resistance defensively," said Morrill.
"We made mistake, after mistake, after mistake."
Saturday night's game agaisnt BYU will end with one
team going home with its first loss. The Cougars come
into the neutral site, Energy Solutions Arena, with
their best start since the 1991-92 season at 6-0. USU's
last 5-0 start came in the 2002-03 season and ended
Dec. 6, 2002, almost six years to the day they face
off with BYU.
Since becoming coach for the Aggies, Morrill is 4-5
against the Cougars. The last time the two teams played
was in December 2006 when BYU rolled the Aggies, 75-62.
This season Brigham Young has, on average, outscored
opponents by 22 points, while Utah State has been outscoring
its opponents by 20.
USU has a higher field goal percentage of .566, to
BYU's .515, and a higher three-point percentage of .470,
to BYU's .347. But BYU has a higher free throw percentage
of .714 to USU's .707, more steals per game with 7.2
to USU's 5.2 and more rebounds with 38.7 compared with
In the stat books, the upcoming game should be neck-and-neck,
with the decision coming down to the play of BYU's star
players Lee Cummard and Jonatha Tavernari, USU's capability
to defend and the Aggies' ability to work the post.
USU players who were raised in Utah say they look
forward to these in-state games all year. Tyler Newbold,
sophomore guard from Payson, said he knows quite a few
players from the other Utah colleges. Coming out on
top in these games provides further benefits than just
one more win on the record -- it provides bragging during
the summer pick-up games.
Newbold, along with the rest of the Aggie basketball
team, hopes to keep the USU winning streak going and
even up Morrill's record against BYU with a win on Saturday.
So pile in the van, fill it up with the wonderful $1.79
gas, get on your Aggie-blue face-paint and go support
the Aggies as they try to trample the Cougars. Tip off
is a 5:05 p.m. at Energy Solutions Arena.