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Today's word on journalism

January 13, 2009

Breakneck:

"I get the feeling that the 24-hour news networks are like the bus in the movie 'Speed.' If they stop talking for a second, they think they'll blow up."

--Jon Stewart, The Daily Show, 2008 (Thanks to alert WORDster Ross Martin)

Speak up! Comment on the WORD at

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Feedback and suggestions --printable and otherwise --always welcome. "There are no false opinions."

Defense rises to occasion against BYU, but Aggies lose game on turnovers

By Connor H. Jones

December 7, 2008 | After USU's Tuesday basketball game against UC Irvine, Coach Stew Morrill said his defense offered little resistance, and if the Aggies were going to win against teams like BYU they would need to step it up.

The players answered Saturday night by holding BYU to 68 points -- 13 below than their season average and BYU's lowest score thus far this season. Unfortunately for the Aggies, they turned the ball over 17 times, and BYU capitalized for 15 points.

BYU took the battle of unbeatens in the Energy Solutions Arena, 68-63.

In the 2007-08 season USU's overall record was 24-11. All of last season's losses have at least one thing in common, turnovers. In every loss last season USU turned the ball over more than its opponent. Only in two of those 11 losses was USU's turnover total within five of their opponent's total.

Freshman point guard Jaxon Myaer fouled out after playing 25 total minutes with five turnovers, three points, two assists and one steal. Sophomore power forward Tai Wesley also fouled out, leaving the game after leading the Aggies in minutes played with 34, racking up 12 points, four assists, four turnovers, and two steals.

Gary Wilkinson hit 6 of 11 from the floor and 10 of 11 from the free throw line, leading the team with 22 points, nine rebounds, two assists, three turnovers, one block and one steal in 31 minutes played.

Tyler Newbold, who is quickly becoming a crowd favorite, had 11 points including a three-pointer to tie the game. Newbold, who Morrill said can always be counted on for solid, level-headed play, had nine rebounds, one assist and one block, with what seemed like an amazing zero turnovers.

Throughout the game on Saturday evening the Aggies seemed to be on the brink of a comeback, only to be snuffed out by careless ball handling. It all seemed to come to a head when, down by three, Wesley grabbed the offensive rebound and passed it out to an open Myaer beyond the arc. The traveling Aggie fans could be heard swelling with excitement as Myaer wound up for the shot, and then the fans were heard moaning with disappointment as Myaer lost the ball by hitting it against his own knee, straight into the hands of BYU's Jackson Emery.

As evident from this last season's 11 losses and from the Aggie's first loss this season, ball control can be the difference between winning and losing. The Aggies have three more away games to shore up their ball handling before returning to the Spectrum on Dec. 22 to face yet another in-state rival, the University of Utah.

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