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NUTHIN' UP MY SLEEVE!: A cow moose rests Tuesday in 3 feet of snow beside the Logan River just west of Tony Grove. / Photo by Mike Sweeney

Today's word on journalism

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Help Wanted: U.S. Defense Department Seeks Better PR Officers

"Our enemies have skillfully adapted to fighting wars in today's media age, but . . . our country has not adapted. For the most part, the U.S. government still functions as a 'five and dime' store in an eBay world."

--U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, on why al Qaeda is winning hearts and minds, in speech to U.S. Council on Foreign Relation (Thanks to alert WORDster Mark Larson) WORD Note: The WORD will take the next week off for Spring Break, sleeping in and seeking wisdom. Return: 3/20/06

Refs take a verbal beating in USU's first home loss of season

A PHYSICAL GAME: Cass Matheus gets hammered while screening for Jaycee Carroll. / Photo by Robert McDaniel

By G. Christopher Terry

February 14, 2006 | A sold-out Spectrum crowd could hardly believe it. It looked as if the scoreboard was acting up: 83-77, in favor of the visiting New Mexico State Aggies.

"I think we just allowed ourselves to relax a little bit," said Nate Harris, who had 18 points, five assists, three blocks and three steals in 38 minutes. "Maybe we thought coming into our own place that they would just kind of come to us, and that's a terrible mindset."

The Quotable Stew Morrill

"I don't know if it was our inability to guard or them playing awfully well against us but we sure have a hard time getting stops."

"For whatever reason, we can't get stops against them and you guys can see some of the reasons; they're very very quick, very fast and we have a hard time blocking them off because of their quickness."

"You can analyze it to death whether we you know one game in practice...they beat us. They beat us. They played well. We didn't get stops. We couldn't rebound. It's as simple as that. Sometimes you want to make it more complicated than it is and it's we couldn't stop them and we couldn't block them off. And that's really what it boiled down to."

No one who watched the game could fail to notice the Spectrum crowd's churlish conduct toward the referees, and even USU Coach Stew Morrill called the officiating "poor."

The zebras were booed as they left the court at halftime and, in a game in which both sides made 30 field goals and 12 three-pointers and the 14-8 edge for NMSU in free throws attempted appeared to be the difference, perhaps they deserved it.

Durrall Peterson led the Aggies in scoring with 21 points and in rebounding with seven, but only one other Aggie scored in double figures, Jaycee Carroll with 11.

Peterson didn't seem too upbeat about his performance, saying, "This game's erased now. You can never have a good game and a loss."

NMSU was led by its pair of speedy guards, Mike Mitchell and Elijah Ingram, who poured in 47 combined points and gave the Aggies fits.

"They made a lot of shots at the end of the clock; they made a lot of deep threes," Morrill said in his first press conference after a home loss this season.

Ingram hit 6 of 10 from long range while Mitchell was 5 of 7, helping Reggie Theus' club to a 57.1 percent three-point shooting night.

The Aggies average 36.7 percent on the season.

A FEW WORDS: NMSU Coach Reggie Theus, center,
shouts instructions. / Photo by Robert McDaniel

Rebounding was another area where NMSU edged Utah State, 35-29.

Harris said, "Rebounds definitely show the aggressor team. Offensive rebounds more than anything else. They were the aggressors and it showed on the stats."

Morrill said the Aggies will find out what they're made of now.

They will travel north to WAC cellar-dwelling Idaho (1-9) Wednesday night, then are back in the Spec Saturday in an ESPN bracket-buster game against Northwestern State (17-6).

"There are only two ways to go: up or down, so we can't let it ruin our season. Coach always says set your jaw and find a way to get it done," Harris said.

Nate Harris goes to the floor after contact. / Photo by Robert McDaniel


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