Utah State basketball got their first win of the season today after starting 0-2. Utah State won against Northern Illinois today 82-71 a day after the Aggies football team beat New Mexico 41-27. This looked like a much more complete game for Utah State as the Aggies scored 39 points in the first half and outscored the Panthers 43-31 in the second half after trailing by one at halftime.
This time it was Marco Anthony that was the leading scorer for the Aggies with 22 points on 8-16 on shooting (2-6 for three) and 4-7 on the free throw line. He posted 6 rebounds (5 defensive, one offensive), two assists, one steal, one block, one turnover, and two turnovers. Rollie Worster was 5-11 on field goals (2-4 from three) and 5-5 from the free point line. He had three defensive rebounds and one offensive rebound, three assists, one steal and four turnovers. Justin Bean and Neemias Queta both scored 15 points and made 50% of their shots. Queta was 9-11 from the free throw line and had 10 rebounds (nine defensive and one offensive), two assists, one steal, four blocks, two turnovers and three fouls. Bean also had 10 rebounds (six defensive, four offensive), four assists, one steal, and two fouls. Brock Miller was good for 9 points on 3-8 of shooting (2-4 from three) and 1-2 from the free throw line. He also had two defensive rebounds, two assists, one steal, one turnover, and a foul.
As a team, Utah State shot 26-56 from the field (46.4%) and Northern Illinois shot 25-69 (36.2%). The Aggies were 7-17 from three (41.2%) and the Panthers were 14-37 (37.8%). Utah State was 23-31 on free throws (74.2%) while the Panthers were 7-9 (77.8%). The Aggies had 43 rebounds and the Panthers had 33. Utah State had 13 turnovers, an improvement from previous games, and the Panthers had 10. One of the important statistics that had a significant factor besides the shooting percentage was the number of fouls. Utah State had 13 fouls as a team and the Panthers had 25 fouls, giving the Aggies more opportunities for free throws.
Overall, just like the football team, this was the best game that the Aggies basketball team has played this year. Their shooting percentage especially from three can probably be improved but they did a much better job at attempting to keep their opponent at a lower shooting percentage this time. They also committed less turnovers which is also a positive indicator to better offense and they also outrebounded their opponent once again. This was a nice win in a game where Utah State was not favored and their is still a lot of learning to do before their next game against BYU on December 12th.