Utah State’s 14-point halftime lead was pretty impressive, especially considering it was on the road and against a team starting three projected NBA draft picks.
But after Fresno State made a little run to open the second half, the Aggies did what few expected — they punched back and when they had the opportunity to, they stepped on the Bulldogs’ throat removing the will to resist.
And they did it defense.
Sure, the 3-point bombs from Brian Green and Jared Quayle were what created the separation on the scoreboard, but the defense that limited Fresno State without a field goal for more than eight minutes in the second half did the trick.
Fresno State made only 14 of 49 shots in the game. Utah State’s defense has to get some of the credit for that.
The win lifts Utah State to 4-2 in the WAC and, coupled with Louisiana Tech’s road loss to San Jose State, leaves the Aggies just a game out of first place and firmly in control of their destiny for more than half of the conference season to play.
Winning on the road, especially after the 0-2 hole the Aggies dug themselves to begin the WAC season, was huge for USU.
Of course, all that can be undone Saturday night in Idaho when USU faces the Vandals — a team that has had a full week to prepare for the Aggies.