With 17 turnovers for the game and second-half shooting percentages of 40 from the field and 52 from the free-throw line, it hardly seemed Utah State had actually had some of its better moments.

But Aggie coach Larry Eustachy thought so.He said that, in many ways, Wednesday's 86-62 win over NAIA Lewis-Clark State of Lewiston, Idaho, saw some of the Aggies' best execution of the season, except for the BYU game (a 24-point USU win).

"It sounds crazy," Eustachy admitted, adding that he saw progress in the way the Aggies ran plays, stayed with their fast breaks and were more judicious in their shot selection than they were Friday in their 75-71 loss to Utah. Eustachy said Silas Mills' defense was better, and Covington Cormier had his best game. Mills scored 22.

And then there was Aggie legend-in-the-making Eric Franson with 28 points (13-for-16) and eight rebounds in 30 minutes. With that, Franson took over the Big West Conference's top-scoring spot (21.5 ppg) and remained its best percentage shooter (.671) and rebounder (11.3). He had 23 points (11-for-12) by halftime, thanks to the execution that made Eustachy happy. Roddie Anderson had six assists by halftime, Mills three, most to Franson.

Tonight, in the concluding games of Utah State's first Gossner Foods Classic at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, the 4-2 Aggies meet 7-1 Idaho State.

The Bengals had no trouble dropping NCAA Division III Chapman University (Los Angeles) (6-4) 73-52 in Wednesday's first Classic game.

Tonight's 6 o'clock game pits Chapman and Lewis-Clark. USU and ISU squares off at 8:05, televised live by KJZZ-Ch. 14.

This first Classic isn't a tournament - tonight's pairings were set months ago rather than being determined by Wednesday's winners.

The Ags, 2-0 vs. Lewis-Clark, gained more respect for the Warriors. If not for 77 percent USU shooting from the field in the first half, many of the makes coming on early offense layins by Franson from Mills and Anderson, and Lewis-Clark's 0-for-10 three-point shooting the second half, the Warriors might have really pushed the Aggies.

"I was impressed," said Franson, who had to work for his below-average eight rebounds. In the first half, USU, prideful of its rebounding, was only up 16-14 on the boards. "They were a very disciplined rebounding team," said Franson. "They did a good job boxing out and going to the offensive glass. The only team that rebounded harder than them was Utah."

L-CS coach George Pfeifer didn't care because of USU's early offense. "If Utah State made money on every dunk they made tonight, they'd have a lot for their program," he said. "If we tried to get quick, they would beat us on the boards; if we tried to slow it down, they would beat us running the floor."

Franson (five second-half points) said the Warriors got back on defense better the second half, so USU went elsewhere, getting Mills, Jon Wickizer, Cormier and Jermaine Womack involved. Womack contributed eight rebounds, 13 points, and was easily the Aggies' best man at the line, making 10 of 12.

With Womack's six second-half rebounds tying Franson's six, and with Mills getting eight in the second half, the Ags took charge of the boards and outrebounded L-CS 50-27 for the night.

Lonnie Perteet's 15 points led L-CS.

In Game 1, Chapman slowed play in the first half and, said ISU coach Herb Williams, drew the Bengals into the trap. "We got in the same frame of mind. It was really frustrating to our guys, and the frustration hurt us."

For tonight, USU is impressed with Bengal 6-foot-9 center Jim Potter, who had 10 rebounds and six points in 26 minutes Wednesday. Nathan Green (19) and Donell Morgan (17) led Bengal scoring vs. Chapman.