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Logan • What a difference 24 hours can make.
A night after Utah State scored a season-high 94 points and had five players in double figures, the offense coach Tim Duryea wanted to continue to fine-tune again ran into a skid.
"Kind of a grind-it-out, ugly win," he said.
The long-range shots which fell Monday against U-T Rio Grande Valley were sailing too far or clanking off the rim early. The ball movement, which Duryea and players were proud of Monday, dissipated.
But credit the Aggies. When pushed back on their heels, they responded against Idaho State and returned to form in the second half en route to a 69-58 win in Day 2 of the Global Sports Hoops Showcase at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
Chis Smith finished with 22 points, 10 rebounds and six assists, while Jalen Moore finished with 19 points and nine rebounds.
"It was one of those nights where your leaders needed to show up," Duryea said.
The pair spearheaded a run between the end of the first half and the early stages of the second half that launched the Aggies from down nearly double digits to comfortably in the lead. For the second straight night, Smith filled the box score for USU, rebounding at a high clip from his forward spot and finishing off contested layups.
Moore drilled timely 3's, followed up shots with two-handed dunks and helped the Aggies solve the Idaho State zone defense. Four 3-pointers from guard Darius Perkins aided that, too. Several second-half Bengal runs were thwarted by timely 3's by Perkins.
"He knows when to do what he has to do in certain moments," Smith said of Perkins. "We needed him tonight."
Down seven and in need of direction late in the first half, the Aggies got it from Smith and Moore. A layup by Smith and a 3-pointer by Moore gave USU a 27-26 lead. Idaho State answered with a quick layup by Ethan Telfair, but Moore utilized his size on the the Bengal guard to hit a long jump shot as time expired, giving Utah State a 29-28 halftime lead.
That shot ended the half on a 12-4 Aggie run. An obvious improvement coming from a pair of Smith free throws minutes earlier that snapped an Aggie scoreless streak of 3:45.
"We just had low energy the whole day," Moore said. "It just took us about a half to get rid of that."
The Aggies needed a run of their own to break out of what was an elongated first-half funk. USU shot 9-for-29 in the first half, including 3-of-15 from behind the arc. In the second half, USU shot 12-for-24.