College hoops • Turnovers make Utah State pay in blowout.
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Ruston, La. • The Aggies were about to leave Louisiana Tech's home court with their worst drubbing of the season to show for it. Just five minutes more, a loss would've been all the trip cost them.
Then Spencer Butterfield went down, and he didn't get back up.
Butterfield was carried off the floor by his teammates and athletic trainer Mike Williams. He then was whisked to the locker room, and the rest of the healthy Utah State roster joined him after an 84-61 loss in Ruston to the WAC leaders on Thursday night.
But instead of just a loss, Butterfield's injury could be a crushing blow to anything the Aggies hope to accomplish for the rest of the season. He was taken to a local hospital after the game for evaluation.
The extent of his injury wasn't immediately known following the game, but the agony in his face spoke of another devastating roster hit on the horizon.
"Sometimes you run out of gas, and we might," coach Stew Morrill said. "If you don't have enough bullets, it's tough. And we keep losing bullets."
The Aggies never stood much of a chance after the first 10 minutes. Louisiana Tech blitzed them from the start.
Utah State was overwhelmed on all levels: balls being knocked out of the Aggies' hands, shots swishing past them into nets, blocks being swatted back in their faces. The lead swelled to 29 in the first half alone, and the Louisiana Tech bench outscored the Aggies as the Bulldogs took a 49-23 lead into intermission.
The full-court press was as tough as advertised. Louisiana Tech forced 15 turnovers, 12 of them in the first half. The Bulldogs were also sensational offensively, shooting 50 percent from the floor and leaving the Aggies' defense looking disorganized