In the season opener for the Utah State men’s basketball team, the Aggies fell to Weber State 65-59 on Friday night in Ogden. USU never led during the contest.
“We were just a really nervous team offensively,” head coach Tim Duryea said. “That was a horrible offensive performance.”
Utah State played haphazardly on both ends of the court, and were a far cry from the fast-paced, 3-point heavy team on display a week ago. The Aggies finished with only 15 attempts from behind the arc, 23 fewer than versus Providence. USU also turned the ball over 11 times during the game, leading to 11 Wildcat points.
“We weren’t aggressive enough to create a lot of 3-pointers,” Duryea said. “When we drove the ball, instead of making a play for a teammate or making a pass, we threw up a tough shot.”
Sophomore guard Koby McEwen was plagued by foul trouble, as the reigning Mountain West Freshman of the Year finished with only nine points on 3-10 shooting. Senior forward Alex Dargenton led USU with 12 points, while JC transfer DeAngelo Isby chipped in with 11 points.
Overall, USU shot 37 percent from the field, and only 26.7 percent from behind the arc. Despite the preseason indications that the team would be a fast-paced, pass-happy offense, the Aggies registered only five assists during the game.
“I didn’t think it was possible for us to play this poorly offensively,” Duryea said. “You can’t do that down here (at Weber State). You can’t do that and expect to win.”
Weber State center Zach Braxton scored 18 points, shooting 9-11 on the night along with eight rebounds and three blocks. Ryan Richardson added 20 points for the Wildcats on 6-12 shooting.
Utah State won’t have much time to fix the inadequacies on display on Friday night. The Aggies return to the Spectrum on Monday to face Montana State.
“I told our team, I think that’s a good thing. We have to flush this out and come tomorrow morning. We have our hands full on Monday night with a team that can really score,” Duryea said. “I’d think they’d rather play than have a week off and have to hang on to the way this feels. They don’t feel good about the way they played.”
After such a poor effort, the Aggies will look to the friendly confines of the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum to help the team respond. Utah State will tip off versus Montana State at 7 pm on Monday night.