Facebook Twitter

12th straight home win for Ags

SHARE 12th straight home win for Ags
Utah State's Nick Hammer, right, drives against San Jose State defender Jamon Hill during the second half of Saturday's game in Logan.

Utah State’s Nick Hammer, right, drives against San Jose State defender Jamon Hill during the second half of Saturday’s game in Logan.

Mitch Mascaro, Associated Press

LOGAN — It is customary for Utah State's Stephen DuCharme to pen initials on his hand to serve as a reminder of something he needs to work on.

Saturday night it was F.Y.S. for "follow your shot."

The way the 6-foot-8 center has played in the last few games, it could have have stood for "find your shot."

Either way you look at it, he accomplished both.

DuCharme scored a game-high 19 points — the most since scoring 22 at Santa Clara on Dec. 23 — on 7-of-11 shooting in leading the Aggies to their 66-57 victory over San Jose State for their 12th straight home win and fifth consecutive win over the Spartans.

"Stephen DuCharme had a big night," Utah State coach Stew Morrill said. "Steve hit a nice perimeter jumper on a play we call 'low hand post,' and he got wide open on it. He played really well."

DuCharme scored seven of the Aggies' first 13 points, and with his team trailing by one at the half, he scored seven of the Aggies' first 16 as they went up by seven points with 12:00 left.

"Before the BYU game (Dec. 16) I sprained my ankle and I had never done that before in my life, and let me tell you it's really hard," he said. "It hurt me confidence-wise. With my ankle being hurt — free-throw shooting, everything — was down. The ankle is feeling better, so I'm playing a little better."

In his last four games he's scored 5, 8, 8 and 6 points. In his last game at Hawaii he was just 2 of 7 from the field.

His big game, along with forward/center Chaz Spicer, who scored 12 points for his fifth straight double-figure game, couldn't have come on a better night as leading scorer Jaycee Carroll was held to just 11 points — nearly 10 below his average.

"I thought we played really well together, with a lot of good chemistry," DuCharme said. "We were sharing the ball really well and able to find our post players at the right time, too."

DuCharme and Spicer combined to shoot 10 of 17 from the field and 10 of 13 from the foul line. Durall Peterson added 13 on 3-of-6 shooting and 4-of-4 from the line, while Carroll's points came on 4-of-11 shooting and 1-of-2 from the line.

"We don't necessarily always want him (Carroll) going 4-for-11, but some other guys made shots and made plays," Morrill said.

With the win the Aggies improve to 16-7 overall and 5-4 in league play and they host New Mexico State Monday at 7 p.m. At the Smith Spectrum.

Utah State led by 10 points on a jump by DuCharme with left in the half, but San Jose held the Aggies to just four points (one field goal) the rest of the half to take a one-point lead.

DuCharme and Spicer combined to score 14 of the Aggies first 16 points of the second half. Spicer tied the score at 36 with a three-pointer and then gave the Aggies the lead for good with a bucket on their next possession.

Leading by 10 points on a three-pointer by Nick Hammer with 11:20 left, the Aggies went nearly five minutes without a field goal, allowing the Spartans (3-19, 2-8) to cut the lead to two with 5:37 left and then one with 4:45 left.

Utah State hit just two more field goals after the Spartans got close, but they connected on 6 of 8 foul pitches down the stretch to keep the Spartans at bay.

"It was a two-point game and then it was a parade to the free-throw line," San Jose State coach George Nessman said. "I think fundamentally we broke down and got tired. We started grabbing instead of playing good defense."

The Spartans, who went 0 for 9 from the three-point line in the second half, shot 41.7 percent for the game, while the Aggies shot 47.6 percent.

"The second half we came out aggressive, played hard, and did what we needed to do," Morrill said. "It was a good win."

Menelik Barbary, Carlton Spencer and Tim Pierce led the Spartans with 13 points each. Chris Session came off the bench and grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds.

E-mail: jhinton@desnews.com