"It's just a few scratches," Reed said. "It was scrappy out there, nobody wanted to go home. Everyone wants to keep playing. But it's all good. We earned another game."
With the victory, USU will host a second-round game Saturday night against Idaho, which beat UC Santa Barbara 86-83 Wednesday night to advance.
Against the Roadrunners, Utah State's starters carried the weight, scoring 74 of the 75 points.
Sophomore guard Preston Medlin led the way with 24 points, six assists and five rebounds. Reed scored 16 points and added eight rebounds, while Morgan Grim and Brockeith Pane scored 15 each.
The Aggies led virtually the entire way, save for a 10-0 run by Cal-State Bakersfield in the middle of the second half, which gave the Roadrunners a slim lead.
Utah State righted itself down the stretch, closing the game by making 26-36 free throws, dominating the rebounding battle and blocking seven shots. That was enough to offset 17 turnovers and a 3-15 shooting performance from 3-point range.
"Well, it got real interesting down the stretch in the second half," USU head coach Stew Morrill said. "We had a chance to go up by 17 points and maybe have the chance to put the game away. To their credit, they just kept pressing and kept coming at us. But we got out of there with a win. We look forward to playing on [Friday]."
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R Utah State advances to the CIT's second round with a 75-69 win over Cal-State Bakersfield.
Idaho at USU
P CIT second roundIdaho at Utah State
Saturday, 7 p.m.