NATCHITOCHES, La. - Jermaine Spencer and Trey Gilder each scored 14 points to lead Northwestern State to an 88-71 win against Utah State in the first game of the season for both teams. With the win, the Demons extended its home winning streak to 15 games which is the sixth-longest in the country, while Utah State's loss snapped a 12-game winning streak in season-openers.
Jaycee Carroll led all scorers with 19 points for Utah State and became the 32nd player in school history to score 1,000 career points. Nick Hammer also scored in double-figures for USU with a career-high 12, while Chris Session tied his career-high with nine points, to go along with a game-high seven rebounds.
Despite committing 13 first-half turnovers, Utah State trailed by just three at the half, 42-39, as it shot 58.3 percent from the field as compared to a 42.1 percent shooting effort for Northwestern State. Carroll scored 13 of his points in the first-half, despite spraining his right ankle early in the game.
Utah State cut the lead to one on a lay-up by Carroll with 16:49 remaining in the second-half before Northwestern State scored six straight points to open the lead to seven. USU got no closer than five points from that point on and trailed by as many as 20 points before losing by 17. In the second-half the Demons shot 65.4 percent from the field, while USU shot just 40.7 percent.
After trailing 8-4 early, Utah State went on a 15-4 run mid-way through the first-half to open its biggest lead of the game at 19-12 with 10:40 remaining. Northwestern State than went on a 20-4 run over the next six minutes to take a nine-point advantage at 36-27 with 4:51 remaining.
Overall, Utah State shot 49.0 percent from the field and just 22.2 percent from three-point range (4-18), while Northwestern State shot 51.6 percent from the field and 46.2 percent from three-point range (6-13). The Demons also out-rebounded USU 36-28 and forced the Aggies into 21 turnovers.
- From USU Media Relations