LOGAN, Utah – Senior guard Preston Medlin led five Utah State players in double-figure scoring with 22 points as USU defeated Central Methodist, 108-88, in the Aggies’ first exhibition game of the preseason at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum Friday night.
Medlin, who missed the final 15 games of the 2012-13 season with a broken wrist, finished the night shooting 9-of-15 from the field, 2-of-7 from three-point range and 2-for-5 at the free throw line in just 24 minutes of action, to go along with a game-high six assists and no turnovers.
Senior guard/forward Spencer Butterfield added 20 points for Utah State, hitting 4-of-4 behind the three-point arc, while senior center Jarred Shaw had 15 points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots. Junior forward Danny Berger added 10 points off the bench in his first action since late November of 2012 after collapsing in practice on Dec. 4 and going into full cardiac arrest. Freshman forward Jalen Moore also scored 10 points off the bench as USU had a dominating 42-16 scoring advantage by its reserves.
Central Methodist, an NAIA school from Fayette, Mo., was led by Melvin Tillman’s game-high 28 points as the Eagles had four players score in double-figures. Tillman was an honorable mention All-American for CMU last season.
Utah State finished the game shooting 63.8 percent overall (44-of-69), including 50.0 percent from three-point range (10-of-20) and 66.7 percent at the free throw line (10-of-15). Central Methodist shot 56.3 percent in the game (27-of-48), including 61.9 percent from behind the arc (13-of-21) and 61.8 percent at the charity stripe (21-of-34).
Utah State dominated the glass as it out-rebounded Central Methodist by 16 (36-20). USU also had 11 more assists (25-14), three more blocks (4-1) and two more steals (6-4), while CMU committing two more turnovers (12-10).
Utah State never trailed in the game and opened its first double-digit lead with 9:06 to play in the opening half on a layup by sophomore forward Kyle Davis to make the score 26-15. USU increased its lead to 31-15 as part of an 11-0 run that began with a Moore layup and ended with a Davis layup with 7:56 to play in the half, before CMU answered with an 11-4 run to get within 35-26 at the 5:32 mark. The Aggies then closed the half on a 23-13 run to take a 58-39 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Medlin had nine first-half points and Shaw added eight more as Utah State shot a blistering 74.2 percent from the field (23-31) and 62.5 percent from three-point range (5-8), while also going 7-for-7 at the charity stripe. CMU shot 48.0 percent in the first half (12-25), including 6-of-11 (.545) from three and 9-for-19 (.474) at the line.
Utah State continued to extend its lead in the second half as a dunk by Moore gave the home team its largest lead of the game at 80-49 with 14:15 to play, and the Eagles never got closer than 16 points the rest of the night as USU coasted to the 20-point win.
In the second-half, USU shot 55.3 percent overall (21-of-38), while CMU shot 65.2 percent (15-of-23) including converting 7-of-10 (.700) three-pointers.
USU will conclude its exhibition schedule by hosting Adams State on Friday, Nov. 1 at 7 p.m., and then hosts Pac-12 opponent USC in its regular-season opener on Friday, Nov. 8 at 7 p.m.
Single-game tickets will go on sale two weeks prior to each game, starting with the USC game (Nov. 8), going on sale Friday, Oct. 25. Single-game tickets will cost $18 for non-priority and $20 for priority, as well as $25 for premium games against USC (Nov. 8), Mississippi State (Nov. 23), BYU (Nov. 30 in Salt Lake City) and UNLV (Feb. 15).
USU men’s basketball season ticket renewals and new season tickets are also still on sale. Season tickets start at $230 and they include all 20 home games as well as the BYU game at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City on Nov. 30. Big Blue Scholarship Fund per seat commitment fees apply, ranging from $100-$900 per seat in addition to ticket cost.
Family Plans are also available for purchase at $800 (two adults and three Jr Aggies). Please be aware that there is a limit of one Family Plan per household.
To order a package or for more Aggie men’s basketball ticket information, fans can contact the USU Athletics Ticket Office over the phone by calling 1-888-USTATE-1 or 435-797-0305 during regular hours of operation. Fans can also buy their tickets in person at the USU Ticket Office inside the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum or online by clicking on the “Buy Tickets” tab at www.UtahStateAggies.com.
Fans can follow the Aggie men’s basketball program at twitter.com/AggieHoops. USU fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program at twitter.com/USUAthletics, on facebook at Utah State University Athletics or on instagram at instagram.com/USUAthletics.