Jan. 11, 2003
LOGAN, Utah - Desmond Penigar scored 15 points and Spencer Nelson scored 13 points and added 12 rebounds to lead Utah State to a 75-69 victory against the Big West Conference preseason favorites, UC Santa Barbara, late Saturday night.
Penigar scored 11 of his points in the first half, while Nelson scored eight of USU's first 12 points. The Aggies never trailed in the game and built leads as much as 21 points en route to the victory.
With the win, Utah State improved to 12-3 overall and 3-1 in the Big West. UC Santa Barbara fell to 5-9 and 2-2.
Mark Hull led UC Santa Barbara with 15 points. Nick Jones was also in double figures for the visitors with 11 points. For the second straight game Utah State had four players score in double figures as in addition to Penigar and Nelson, Nate Harris and Cardell Butler scored 12 and 10 points respectively off the bench.
USU shot 51.9 percent from the field, while holding UCSB to just 34.6 percent, the second-lowest shooting mark by an Aggie opponent this year.
The Aggies jumped out early scoring the game's first six points and then went on a 9-4 run to move ahead 28-17 late in the first half. USU took a 36-29 lead into the break. After UCSB whittled the lead to 44-39, the Aggies went on a 16-4 run in the next four minutes to pull ahead 60-43 with 8:35 left in the game.
USU hit 15-of-18 free throw attempts and out-rebounded the Gauchos 39-26. USU also scored 17 points off second chances, while UCSB had just three second chance points.