The Aggies broke a four-game losing skid in improving to 15-5 overall and 6-4 in Western Athletic Conference, while the Vandals fell to 8-12 overall and 4-6 in WAC play, continuing their win-loss pattern of its last four games, but losing six of its last eight games. Thursday was USU's fourth-straight win over Idaho and first at Moscow in the last three tries, as the Aggies now lead the all-time series 37-14.
Shaw's 27 points topped his career-high for the second-straight game and just missed his eighth double-double of the season with nine rebounds. Butterfield posted his third-straight double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds, while dishing out a game-high tying four assists. Davis tallied double-digits for the first time in his last six games, and his fifth time this season.
Idaho had four players in double-figures, led by 14 each by Connor Hill and Stephen Madison while Robert Harris netted 13 points and Kyle Barone posted 11 points, 5.7 below his season average of 16.7 that ranked second in the WAC entering Thursday.
USU shot 59.6 percent (28-of-47) from the field, netting 6-of-13 (46.2 percent) behind the arc and 15-of-19 (78.9 percent) at the free throw line. Idaho made 25-of-47 (53.2 percent) of its field goals, netting 10-of-19 (52.6 percent) from three-point range and 7-of-13 (53.8 percent) at the charity stripe.
The Aggies also had a 27-16 rebounding advantage, as its +11 rebounding advantage was its second-straight double-digit rebounding advantage and 11th of the season. Idaho’s 16 rebounds were the fewest by an Aggie opponent this season, bettering the previous low of 17 by Denver on Jan. 19, and the fewest by a USU opponent since 13 by Hawai’i on Dec. 29, 2010.
Utah State led from start-to-finish, jumping out to an 11-3 lead on a Butterfield trey at the 15:59 mark. The Aggie advantage swelled to 18-3 with 13:34 on the clock after a Shaw layup. Idaho went on a 15-2 run to pull within 20-18 with 7:44 to go after a layup by Barone. USU stretched its lead to 31-25 at haltime after a three-pointer by junior guard/forward Marvin Jean as the shot clock buzzer went off with five seconds left in the half.
Idaho pulled within 46-44 at the 10:55 mark after a three-pointer by Mansa Habeeb, but USU pulled away with a 20-5 run, started by back-to-back treys from junior guard TeNale Roland. The streak was capped by another three-pointer, this one from sophomore forward Ben Clifford to lead 66-49 with 3:27 and the Aggies cruised to their 15th win of the season.
USU continues its two-game road weekend at Seattle on Saturday, Feb. 2 at 8 p.m. (MT)