Deon Stroud scored 14 points for Fresno State and the Bulldogs were able to overcome a 10 point half time deficit against Utah State to pull off a 61-54 win. Utah State now falls to 10-8 on the season, 1-4 in conference play, and falls to 9th place in the conference.
Utah State was able to pull out to a 31-21 lead at the half but the Aggies suffered a big letdown in the second half as they were outscored 40-23. Utah State shot 22-47 (46.8%) from the field while Fresno State shot 18-46 (39.1%). Utah State was unable to get the three point shot going, shooting 2-12 from three while Fresno State shot 7-20 (35%). The big difference between the two teams was in free throw percentage. Utah State shot 13 free throws and made 8 of them (61.5%) while Fresno State went 18-20 (90%). Both teams committed 15 turnovers and were also close in the number of fouls committed, Utah State with 17 and Fresno State with 16.
The leading scorer for Utah State was Sean Bairstow, who had 39 minutes and scored 12 points on 5-10 shooting. He had six rebounds, five assists, a block, and three turnovers. Justin Bean had 36 minutes scored 10 points and was 4-13 shooting. He had two rebounds, three steals, two turnovers, and two personal fouls. Brandon Horvath scored 9 points on 4-7 shooting and had six rebounds, one turnover, and four personal fouls. Rylan Jones scored 8 points and shot 4-9 (44%). He had a defensive rebound. two assists, a steal, two turnovers, and three personal fouls. Off the bench, Trevin Dorius had eight points and shot a perfect 4-4. He had seven rebounds, a steal, a turnover, and four personal fouls.
Up next for Utah State is Boise State, who is at the top of the conference right now. If Utah State still wants a now very unlikely shot at an at large bid for the NCAA Tournament, this is a must win situation. Utah State has a lot to figure out and if the Aggies don’t get it figured out quickly, then they could find themselves playing in the first round of the Mountain West tournament.