After losing game one of the UNLV series in 59-56 game, Utah State turned it around a won tame two 83-74. Utah State scored 37 in the first half and 46 in the second half while holding the Rebels to 34 in the first and 40 in the second.
Rollie Worster was a key player in Utah State’s victory and was the Aggies leading scorer with 19 points on 7-13 shooting (53.8%), 1-5 from three (20%), 4-4 from the free throw line. He also had nine rebounds (seven defensive, two offensive), nine assists, three steals, and also had a turnover and two personal fouls. Brock Miller scored 15 points on 5-9 shooting (55.5%), 3-5 from the three point line (60%), 2-2 from the free throw line. He had two rebounds, an assist, and two turnovers. Justin Bean and Neemias Queta both scored 13 points on 5-8 shooting (62.5%) and 6-16 (37.5%) shooting respectively. Justin Bean made one three pointer and was 2-2 from the free throw line in addition to nine rebounds (five defensive, four offensive), four assists, two steals, a turnover, and three personal fouls. Neemias Queta went 1-3 from the free throw line (33.3%), and had eight rebounds (seven defensive, one offensive), three assists, two blocks, two turnovers, and two personal fouls. Marco Anthony scored 12 points off of 4-9 shooting (44.4%), 3-4 from three (75%), and 1-4 from the free throw line (25%) and also posted five rebounds (three defensive, two offensive), two assists, a block, four turnovers, and three personal fouls.
Off the bench, Alphonso Anderson scored five points on 2-2 shooting, 1-1 from three, and also had an assist and a personal foul. Steven Ashworth and Sean Bairstow both scored three points on 1-2 shooting. Ashworth made a three pointer and had two offensive rebounds, an assist, and two personal fouls. Bairstow made a field goal and a free throw in addition to posting an offensive rebound, a turnover, and a personal foul.
As a team, Utah State shot much better than the game previous, making 31-62 of their shots (50%) and going 10-19 from the three point line (52.6%). UNLV shot 26-60 (43.3%) and went 10-28 from three (35.7%). Utah State was 11-17 on free throws (64.7%) while UNLV was 12-16 (75%). Utah State once again outrebounded their opponent, 41-29, and also had more steals than UNLV, 21-15. UNLV had six steals compared to Utah State’s five and four blocks to Utah State’s three. Utah State had 11 turnovers, two less than the Rebel’s 13, and also had one less foul than UNLV, 15-16.
The first game against UNLV was an off game for the Aggies as they had a very poor shooting percentage. This week the Aggies made 50% of their shots and made over 50% of their threes. They continued to play good defense, which was the difference maker in the second half as it allowed Utah State to pull away. Things would look a lot better for Utah State had they not lost the first game to UNLV but now it seems that Utah State might have to at least split the series against Boise State to build their resume. Utah State currently sits at 13-5 (10-2) and in CBS Sports most recent bracketology prediction (released on January 25th), was predicted to play Indiana in the First Four. This bracket came out before the loss to UNLV. Considering that CBS Sports had Utah State in the first four before the loss, it doesn’t seem likely they will be in after the loss.
This is why the Utah State vs Boise State game is so important for both teams. It provides a chance for a resume building win that could be the difference of making the tournament or falling just short. Boise State isn’t out yet, they sit at 13-2 and both losses came to teams that are playing very well this season. There is a lot of basketball to play before March Madness and Utah State will need to continue to improve game by game as the Mountain West tournament draws near.