"I don't think we could've thrown the ball in the ocean tonight standing on the beach in the sand," said Reed. "It was one of those nights where we couldn't make shots."
The Aggies (1-1) played with passion in only their second game of the season, but couldn't topple the more experienced and polished Gaels (2-0). More importantly, Utah State couldn't find the hoop.
They shot 32.3 percent from the field, only hitting 3 of 16 from long range and clanging free throws that gradually cost them the game. The team took away plenty of positives mostly the increased effort and dominance in the paint but it was clear there's still some work to be done for Utah State.
"I'm not gloom and doom at all after that game, and I don't want our kids to be," coach Stew Morrill said. "Obviously we were nervous, we weren't shooting the ball well. We hung in there and competed, but we couldn't make shots."
That wasn't actually that much of a problem inside for Reed and Jarred Shaw, the starting big men who overwhelmed the Gaels inside. Shaw posted a 17-point, 15-rebound double-double in only his second game as an Aggie, while Reed had 16 points, eight rebounds and four steals. The duo held Saint Mary's starting forwards to only six combined points.
But the Gaels found other ways to score, torching the Aggies for nine 3-pointers. At the forefront of the attack was Matthew Dellavedova, the Austrailian senior point guard who lived up to his star billing. He finished with a game-high 21 points, driving inside, dishing out and going perfect from the foul line.
Former Aggie James Walker III, who transferred after his freshman year in Logan, also did damage in his return to the Spectrum. The guard went 5 for 9 for 14 points, 12 of those in the first half.
By contrast, Utah State's backcourt struggled. Junior Preston Medlin had a cold night, scoring seven points on 3-for-11 shooting as Dellavedova and other lengthy Gaels barely gave him room to breath. Starting point guard TeNale Roland was uncomfortable as well, going 1 for 9 from the field before sitting out most of the second half as Medlin played point.
The Aggies made a late run, coming within three points with five minutes left as Danny Berger drilled a 3-pointer. But the surge fizzled as the Gaels made their free throws and the Aggies couldn't make their own. Utah State went 15 for 24 from the line, and missed the front end of one-and-one fouls four times in the second half.
Utah State faces a quick turnaround, with Texas A&M Corpus Christi coming to town on Saturday night. Shaw was eager to get back on the court and shake off the loss.
"It'll give us a chance to redeem ourselves," he said. "Why not take it out on them?"
Storylines St. Mary's 67, USU 58
R Aggies shoot only 32.3 percent from the field, and 18.8 percent from 3-point range.
• Utah State loses despite outrebounding Saint Mary's 49 to 30.
• Jarred Shaw has a 17-point, 15-rebound double-double in the defeat.