LOGAN, Utah – Utah State’s double-double machine picked right up where he left off last season.
Senior forward Justin Bean had 21 points and 10 points – both game highs – and grad senior forward Brandon Horvath added 14 points and eight rebounds as USU’s men’s basketball team rolled to an 81-51 exhibition victory over Montana Western on Wednesday night at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
Bean, who recorded nine double-doubles last season and has 26 in his career, shot 10-of-15 from the field and also handed out a game-high-tying five assists.
Bean and Horvath were the lone Aggies to score in double figures, but senior guard RJ Eytle-Rock and junior guard Rylan Jones chipped in nine points apiece. Jones also had five helpers for Utah State, which recorded 22 assists on 33 made baskets.
Jalen Hodges led the Bulldogs with 15 points and Ky Kouba scored 10 off the bench. Montana Western had played two previous games prior to Wednesday night, defeating Yellowstone Christian College by scores of 109-51 and 108-51, respectively.
Utah State shot 50.8 percent from the field (33-of-65), including 27.3 percent from beyond the arc (6-of-22), and 75.0 percent from the free throw line (9-of-12).
Defensively, the Aggies limited the Bulldogs to just 32.2 percent shooting from the field (19-of-59), including 26.7 percent from 3-point range (8-of-30). Montana Western made just 55.6 percent of its free throws (5-of-9).
Utah State, which outrebounded the Bulldogs 47-31, shot an even 50.0 percent in the first half. Bean and Horvath scored nine and eight points, respectively, to help the Aggies build a 40-31 lead at the break.
The Bulldogs’ lone lead of the night came at the 18:47 mark of the first half courtesy of a basket by Hodges in the paint. Utah State scored the next seven points, including five by Eytle-Rock, to regain the lead.
Montana Western tied it at 28-apiece on a basket by Kouba with 7:07 to go in the opening half, but Utah State used a 12-0 spurt to open a 40-28 lead with 2:41 left. Bean scored seven during the key run.
The Aggies scored the first two points of the second half on a pull-up jumper by Jones and Utah State would lead by double-digits the rest of the way.
Dating back to the 2008-09 season, Utah State is now 20-1 in its last 21 exhibition games.
The Aggies officially usher in the Ryan Odom era when they host UC Davis on Tuesday, Nov. 9, at 7:30 p.m., at the Spectrum. The non-conference game is part of a doubleheader with Utah State’s women’s team, which will host Westminster College at 5 p.m.
For more information on Utah State’s men’s basketball program, follow the Aggies on Facebook at usumensbasketball, on Twitter at@usubasketball and on Instagram at @usubasketball. Fans can also watch USU men’s basketball highlights by visiting youtube.com/utahstateathletics.