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a silent salute: The audience "claps" at Joke Night during Deaf Awareness week. Click Arts&Life for a link to story. / Photo by Leah Lopshire

Today's word on journalism

December 15, 2008

As part of my own personal "war on Christmas" (which a Utah state senator has offered legislation to outlaw), the WORD celebrates the season by going on hiatus until January. May all out days be merry and bright, and here’s to a safe, healthy and saner New Year. HoHoHo!

Empty Minds: "Of all the people expressing their mental vacuity, none has a better excuse for an empty head than the newspaperman: If he pauses to restock his brain, he invites onrushing deadlines to trample him flat. Broadcasting the contents of empty minds is what most of us do most of the time, and nobody more relentlessly than I."

--Russell Baker, Pulitzer-winning columnist

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

Ags stay undefeated as they smash Weber State by 26

By Craig Morris

November 26, 2008 | Gary Wilkinson led all scorers with 18 points, but Tai Wesley carried the team on his back, coming up just one assist short of a triple-double.

Wesley was all over the floor, finishing with 14 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists, four blocks, and two steals as the Aggies cruised to a 75-49 victory over Weber State.

"I wish the game could have stopped and had the coaches tell me that I only needed one more pass to get a triple-double, and I probably would have got it," said Wesley. He added that stats don't matter -- he just wants to help his team and pump up the crowd.

Utah State started slowly and was out-hustled by the visiting Wildcats in the first half. Weber State, led by Steve Panos' 17 points, got up by as many as 12 and took a seven-point lead into intermission.

In the locker room, USU Coach Stew Morrill rallied the troops and encouraged the team to go out and play with confidence.

"We looked inept in the first half. We looked tentative. I wasn't sure if it was the layoff or some of our guys haven't played in these in-state games. I talked very directly about that at halftime about going out and playing and competing. Let the chips fall where they may, but be aggressive," said Morrill.

The Aggies started out the second half on a 22-7 run, quickly erasing the deficit as momentum shifted in favor of the home team. The Ags shot 65.5 percent from the field in the second half and outrebounded the Wildcats 17-10 after intermission.

Wesley did a great job of spreading the ball around, with six of his nine assists coming in the second half.

With the Aggies trailing by two, Jared Quayle tied it with a put-back, forced a turnover on the other end, and then hit a mid-range jumper to take a two-point lead. Quayle then grabbed a defensive rebound and the Ags didn't relinquish their lead for the rest of the game. Quayle looked as if his confidence was coming back and he played the rest of the game with the swagger fans have been waiting to see.

All five of the Aggie starters scored in double figures and a late barrage of three-pointers turned what looked to be a nail-biter into a blowout. While Utah State's shooting was a big factor, defense is what won the game. The Ags held the Wildcats to just 14 points in the second half and did not allow a single field goal in the final 16 minutes.

"Great second half after a real bad first half, but we'll take it. We were flat for 20 minutes. It is nice to see us bounce back," added Morrill.

The Aggies look to be hitting full stride as they prepare to host Cal Poly on Saturday. If they are able to put two halves together like the second half they played against Weber State, they will be hard to beat no matter who or where they play.

Cal Poly owns a 1-3 record for the season but played BYU very tight last week in Provo.


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