There was no doubt in the outcome Saturday night at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.

The Utah State men's basketball team was just too talented. Visiting Universite Laval from Quebec City, Quebec, Canada, did put up a fight in the first half, which gave Aggie head coach Stew Morrill something to talk about at halftime.

"They (Rouge Et Or) were shooting 45 percent, and we had a goal to keep them in the low 30's," USU forward Brady Jardine said. "In the first half they made some tough shots. That's a credit to them. What we were frustrated about and what coach was frustrated about were the wide open shots and the missed communication that left them wide open.

"So, we came in talked about getting rid of those errors. They still made some tough shots in the second half, but by taking out those mistakes, we cut their shooting percentage down. That's something we want to work at every game, shutting down the offense."

It wasn't like USU was behind after the first 20 minutes. The Aggies held a 49-30 lead at the break. They would go on to rout Rouge Et Or, 93-51.

But the visitors did shoot 42.9 percent from the field in the first half. But more importantly, the Aggies had allowed some wide-open looks.

"Yeah, I was on them pretty hard at halftime," USU head coach Stew Morrill said. "I just didn't like how we defended. We held them to 11 points in the second half until about the last minute and half. They faded a little bit having played multiple games, but we did do a better job."

While the Aggies continued to score at will, they did clamp down on defense. Universite Laval had stretches of 6:07 minutes and 4:18 between scoring any points. Meanwhile, USU went on a 29-3 run to take a commanding 81-37 lead with eight minutes still to play.

"We didn't have much of an answer for No. 22 (Jerome Turcotte-Routhier) in the first half," Morrill said. "We did a better job in the second half. All in all, we did okay."

Turcotte-Routhier had 15 points in the first half, but scored just two points over the final 20 minutes. With bench players in the game for the final minutes, Rouge Et Or did put together a 10-0 run in the closing minutes of the contest.

That bothered the head coach some, but he was pleased with the overall effort of his team. He was also happy with how the Aggies responded after his halftime talk.

"Well, it's a work in progress, obviously," Jardine said of the exhibition game. "We did some things really well, we did some things poorly. But I think that's expected at the start of the season. That's the nice thing about a veteran team. We realize a 50-point win doesn't mean anything, because we have a long ways to go."

Jardine had a double-double with 11 points and a game-high 12 points. Six Aggies reached double figures in scoring, led by point guard Brockeith Pane.

"It was a good start," Pane said. "We got another game Friday, so we need to practice and get better each and every day and keep going hard every day and improve."

Morrill would certainly second that.

"And on we go," Morrill said. "It's what exhibition games are all about. I think the next one will be totally different."

The next one will be against Grand Canyon. The Lopes are a Division II school based in Prescott, Ariz.

When the Aggies do take the court Friday, they will be without senior forward Nate Bendall. He missed Saturday's game, wearing a walking boot on his right foot.

"It's the same stuff," Morrill said. "He tried to go. He just can't go. He wakes up in the morning and can't walk. He's got chronic foot issues. ... We were probably fortunate to get him through last year. Whether or not he'll be able to play at all is hard to say. He's going to be out at least four weeks or more, and then we will go from there."


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