Preston Medlin scored 17 points on 6-of-13 shooting to lead three Aggie starters in double figures as Utah State topped the University of Southern California 78-65 in its home opener Friday night.
Jared Shaw and Spencer Butterfield each added 12 for USU while USC was paced by J.T. Terrell with 20 points.
Leading 40-33 at halftime, the Aggies opened up the second half on a 16-5 run, sparked by three 3-point shots by Medlin and a dunk by Shaw. The Trojans slowed the USU with a 6-0 run of their own to bring the score to 56-44 with 12:40 to play.
USU led by 65-44 with 9:50 to play when Danny Berger hit a 3-pointer, one of eight 3-pointers for the Aggies on the night. USC was held to 4-of-24 shooting from 3-point range. USU shot 48 percent from the field in the game, while USC shot 37.
As the second half wore down, USC was unable to get production from their bench, with USU's bench scoring 19 to eight for USC. Starters Omar Oraby and Byron Wesley each scored 15 to aid the Trojans.
In the opening half, the teams traded baskets until USU went on a 10-0 run ending with a jumper by Marcel Davis at the end of a fast break, leading 21-11 with 9:40 to play. Terrell then nailed a 3-pointer and a quickly followed with a fast-break layup and free throw to close the gap to 21-17.
The Trojans then relied on Terrell to keep them close — including three consecutive field goals, two of which were dunks — but USU led at halftime 40-33.
Terrell led USC in scoring with 14 in the half, while Butterfield had nine for USU. USC had 16 rebounds and four turnovers in the half, while USU was credited with 15 boards and five turnovers in a closely played first half.