LOGAN, Utah -
The UC San Diego men's basketball team tipped off the 2011-12 season on Friday, dropping a 74-42 decision in an exhibition matchup with Division I Utah State at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum in Logan.
Senior point guard Brockeith Pane scored 12 points to lead four players in double figures for the Aggies, while Brady Jardine finished with 11 points and seven rebounds and Preston Medlin and Adam Thoseby chipped in with 10 points apiece.
Sophomore guard MacKenzie McCullough scored 13 points off the bench to pace the Tritons, while senior forward Mike Meza and junior guard Tyler McGrath each put in seven. Senior center Christian Hatch finished with six points and five boards.
The Aggies shot 53.6% (30-56) from the field, including 58.3% (7-12) from three-point range, while UCSD shot just 30.6% (15-49) overall, including 35.3% (6-17) on threes. USU outscored UCSD 30-6 in the paint and scored 18 points off 21 Triton turnovers.
"Utah State is one of the best programs in the country and they showed why tonight," fifth-year head coach Chris Carlson said. "They are well-coached and they stay within themselves. It was a good experience for us and we'll grow from this."
Utah State scored the first 11 points of the game and pushed the lead to 20 (28-8) with 7:42 left in the half following a three-pointer from Thoseby. USU extended its lead to 27 on a layup by Jardine with 1:42 to play in the period before Dylan Bohanan and McCullough hit back-to-back three-pointers to make the score 38-17 at the half.
Meza opened the second half with a jumper to trim the Tritons' deficit to 19, but the Aggies followed with a 15-0 run to push the lead to 34 at 53-19 with 14:53 to play. Utah State took its largest lead of the game at 65-27 at the 6:53 mark on a jumper by Medlin and led by 32 at the final horn.
"We have much to work on and that was evident," Carlson added. "But we are looking forward to getting back to practicing and working on our game,"
Pane was 5-of-11 from the field and also finished with four assists and a pair of steals.
McCullough hit 5-of-9 from the floor, including 3-of-4 from the three-point line and also grabbed three rebounds.
The Tritons were without two starters on Friday, as junior forward Justin Brue and sophomore point guard James McCann sat out with injuries.
UCSD will now travel to Berkeley to square off with Cal for its final exhibition tune-up on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., before opening the regular season at the Disney West Coast Tip Off Classic November 4-6 in Anaheim.