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Today's word on journalism

March 17, 2009

Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 1863-2009

"Can Seattle's oldest newspaper be successfully transformed into a child of the information age? The Northwest is a land of big dreams. With the demise of the Soviet Union, one quipster noted that Puget Sound is now home to three empires still bent on global dominion: Microsoft, Amazon.com and Starbuck's. If the stars align properly and with a quality product, Seattle will show the way to a new model for journalism of the written word."

--Joel Connelly, columnist, in today's final print edition of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer

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Aggies shake off opening spurt by CS Bakersfield, win 78-57

By Connor H. Jones

February 20, 2009 | Cal State Bakersfield held tight in the first 15 minutes, hitting 5 of 5 from three-point range, before the Aggies pulled away Wednesday in the second half for a 78-57 non-conference win.

With the victory, Utah State now has 25 wins and only two losses, giving the Aggies the most wins of any team in the country. USU's consecutive home winning streak record was broken with the win; the Aggies are now at 32 straight wins, second in the nation only to Kansas, which who has 37 in a row.

Junior Stavon Williams led the Aggies in scoring with 13 points, 11 of which came in the first half. On the night, Williams hit 5-of-10 from the floor and 3-of-6 from three-point range in 27 minutes.

Williams was one of nine USU players to score seven or more points against the Roadrunners (6-20).

Tai Wesley was USU's second highest scorer, racking up 11 points, five rebounds, one steal and three assists in a game-high 28 minutes played. Wesley started the game hot, sinking four of his first five shots and nabbing three rebounds during the first half.

Wesley's strong half wasn't enough to intimidate the Roadrunners, who instead of challenging USU's dominant big men took their game beyond the arc, hushing the crowd after each of their five first half threes. Sophomore guard Alex Johnson hit both of his attempted threes in the half, his first to tie the game at 21 and his second coming just over a minute later to give the Roadrunners one of their final leads of the game, 23-24.

After the fire started to fizzle on their three point shots, the Roadrunner couldn't get a spark. They did not score in the final 6:19 of the first half, allowing the Aggies to pull away from what was a tie game to a 41-26 lead going into intermission.

Coming out of the locker room, USU looked sloppy, starting off with a foul, turnover and a missed open jumper. USU Coach Stew Morrill looked ready to burst a couple minutes later after a two-on-one fast break resulted in zero points because of a failed alley-oop pass. After a timeout and some yelling by Morrill, the Aggies began to calm down.

Senior Gary Wilkinson showed his poise in the second half collecting seven of his 10 rebounds and five of his nine points. Also in the second half Wilkinson had two blocks and one assist before he left the game. After the game Wilkinson said he tweaked his back but it wasn't a big deal, and he would be fine for Saturday's ESPN BracketBuster game against Saint Mary's.

Morrill and the Aggie team travel to Moraga, Calif., to play 20-5 Saint Mary's for ESPN's seventh annual BracketBuster tournament. The tournament is one of the final games a mid-major program such as USU can use to try to impress the NCAA Tournament selection committee. Saint Mary's has a strong basketball program, which was ranked as high at 18 in the ESPN/USA Today poll.

"It'll be the first time in a while we've gone into the game being an underdog," said Pooh Williams. "[But] if we play Aggie basketball I think we can play with anyone in the country."

USU returns home for one of its final home games of the season Thursday against conference foe Hawaii. Tipoff at the Smith Spectrum is at 7 p.m.

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