LOGAN, UTAH - Tai Wesley and Gary Wilkinson provided the inside power and Jared Quayle and Tyler Newbold the outside shooting as Utah State dominated Howard, 85-45 in the first round of the Duel in the Desert men's basketball tournament at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
The Bison (1-9) kept it close early and trailed by only 10-8 in the first six minutes. Then the Aggies (10-1) began to flex with frontcourt players Wesley and Wilkinson combining for 19 of their team points during a 29-12 run to end the half as Utah State took a 39-20 lead to the locker room.
Howard, which has been plagued by an inability to score throughout the season, was able to muster only six points in the first nine minutes. With the Bison concerned about the effectiveness of Wesley and Wilkinson, the Aggies turned to Quayle and Newbold, who combined to shoot 7 of 14 from beyond the arc.
"We knew coming in that they are a very good team," said Howard Coach Gil Jackson. "We came in thinking that we could be competitive with them. But we are still having problems scoring and you cannot have that kind of problem against as team like them."
Bison leading scorer Eugene Myatt, who averages almost 13 points per game, did not score a field goal until midway through the second half. He finished with 7 points and missed 9 of 11 from the field.
"We have to have Eugene scoring in order for us to be competitive," said Jackson.
The Aggies, who rank among the nation's best in field goal percentage, shot 51 percent for the game while also holding a 48-23 advantage in rebounding. They recorded 25 assists on their 32 field goals.
Howard got another quality performance from freshman guard Calvin Thompson, who led his team with nine points while also grabbing a career-high six rebounds. No Bison player scored in double figures.
Quayle led all scorers with 17, Newbold with 16 and Wilkinson and and Wesley tallied 13 and 11, respectively.
NEXT UP: The Bison will try to snap their nine-game skid when they take on Wyoming, 84-74 winners over Houston Baptist, at 5:30 pm while Utah State squares off with Houston Baptist at 8 pm.