Make no mistake, Pooh Williams and his 15 second-half points was what won the game for Utah State.
But as clutch as those points were, Nate Bendall gets the nod for the biggest play of the game.
With Utah State up by two with 29 seconds to play, Williams was sent to the line for a one-and-one set of free throws. Fouling Pooh was actually a pretty good play by Louisiana Tech.
Williams is just a 54.5 percent free throw shooter and the play was the right one for the Bulldogs — after all, Pooh clanked his first shot, giving LaTech and chance to upset the Aggies.
Except Bendall made one of the biggest hustle plays of the season when he slipped between two Bulldog players, grabbed the offensive rebound and quickly tossed in a right-handed layup on the other side of the rim while a stunned Magnum Rolle fouled him trying to stop the play.
Bendall made the basket and the free throw and gave the Aggies a 63-58 lead with 27 seconds left.
That play was every bit as much the difference maker for the Aggies as Williams’ second-half scoring outburst.
Here are a few other highlights from the box score.
Jared Quayle had 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Aggies — his fifth double-double of his career.
Utah State had only one turnover in the second half and shot a nice 51.9 percent over the final 20 minutes. When you consider the team went virtually scoreless for nearly six minutes, that’s a pretty solid half of basketball.
Kyle Gibson, a candidate for WAC player of the year, was harrassed into 4-of-18 shooting and scored just 14 points — well below his 21 points per game average.
There were 221 unsold tickets to the game. A 9 p.m. tipoff, on ESPN2 and it being a school night probably explains that.