RUSTON, La. -- Tyler Newbold and Utah State punctuated one of the best regular seasons in school history with an overpowering performance on the road.
Newbold scored 14 points and Utah State (No. 21 ESPN/USA Today, No. 25 AP) used its stifling defense to rout Louisiana Tech 72-30 on Saturday night.The Aggies limited Tech to its lowest score in school history, holding the Bulldogs to just 10 field goals and 18 percent shooting (10 for 56). Louisiana Tech went 0 for 14 from 3-point range and committed 20 turnovers."There were a couple of stretches we could have certainly played better offense, but we did what we need to do, obviously," Utah State coach Stew Morrill said. "They had a tough night and hopefully we were part of the reason."Tai Wesley added 11 points and eight rebounds for Utah State, which shot 41 percent from field. Brian Green had 10 points.The Aggies (28-3, 15-1 Western Athletic Conference) closed the regular season with six straight wins and have won 26 of 27 overall to set a school mark for regular-season victories.C.J. Scott scored 10 points for Louisiana Tech (12-20, 2-14), which trailed 34-15 at halftime en route to its fourth straight loss and eighth setback in nine games."It's been a long, hard year for us," Louisiana Tech coach Kerry Rupp said. "Utah State is a very good team. We started dropping our heads when we were missing shots and we didn't shoot the ball well. I think what happened tonight is that our guys really wanted to win this one, but we got off to a bad start. We got tight on the offensive end and it carried over to the entire aspect of our game."Newbold opened the game with a 3 and Pooh Williams added two more 3s as Utah State scored the first 11 points of the game. Soon after, Wesley added a jumper and a layup as he was fouled, then Green hit a 3 to make it 25-2."We came out really focused at the beginning of the game. Coach was really on us not to have a letdown," Newbold said. "We made a lot of shots and got the big lead and I think that kind of drained their spirits a little bit."Although the Aggies were pleased with their defensive effort, they were still somewhat surprised by the Bulldogs' shooting woes."They missed some shots they would normally make," Newbold said. "They must have made them all the other nights and didn't have any left for this game. We did a pretty good job on defense, but we can play better on offense."Utah State led by as much as 26 in the first half before Tech put together a 9-2 run before the break.Louisiana Tech could only get as close as 16 in the second half after Olu Ashaolu's free throws made it 38-22.The Aggies then responded with a 15-2 run that included 3s by Newbold and Green to make it 53-24, and Utah State kept pulling away after that, outscoring Tech 19-6 the rest of the way."It was a good win," Morrill said. "Now we can catch our breath for a couple days and get ready for the conference tournament."