In the first regular season home game under Coach Duryea, the Aggies picked up the win against Adams State, 83-68. The player of the game would have to be Senior guard Chris Smith, who seemed to be in rhythm all night, finishing with 21 points on 9 of 12 shooting, including 3 for 6 shooting on 3 point attempts. One of the marquee moments of the night came when Smith hit a three pointer as the halftime buzzer sounded, pushing the lead to 20. As a team, the Aggies shot 51.7% from the field, but a lowly 26.9% from the 3 point line. The Aggies also showed some of their struggles from the free-throw line, shooting just 60.9%.
With the departure of David Collette last week, there were questions about the depth of the Aggie frontcourt. Those questions seemed to be answered on Tuesday night. There were solid to standout performances from both starters and bench players alike. Jalen Moore finished with 17 points and 7 rebounds and 1 block. Elston Jones finished with 8 points, 4 rebounds and also a block. Newcomer Taylor Quinn came off the bench to finish just 1 rebound short of a double-double, ending with 12 points and 9 rebounds. As a team, the Aggies finished with 41 rebounds and 7 blocks, and showed that the Aggies have good depth at the forward position, using a solid 5 man rotation, as opposed to the 3 man rotation of a year ago.
Some weaknesses were shown during the night. There were many times on the night that Aggie defenders were beaten off the dribble, resulting in lots of penetration and easy baskets by the guard heavy Adams State team. There were also a lot of missed three point shots, hitting on only 7 of 26. They also were outscored in the second half.
Said Coach Duryea, “I thought we were very solid in the first half and did a lot of good things. My overall impression of the second half without watching the film isn’t great. We were too sloppy with the ball. We didn’t execute the press breaker or guard the ball on defense. The second half was not very good. There were too many mistakes and turnovers.”
While there are areas for improvement, the Aggies had a strong showing in their home opener and look to be in a good position going forward. They are back in action at the Spectrum on Friday at 7 p.m. against Union, where they look to move to 3-0.