Any hope of getting an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament without winning the Mountain West is now completely gone. Utah State dropped their fourth straight game in conference play on January 20th to Boise State in a 62-59 game that sent the Aggies to 10-9 on the season and 1-5 in conference play. Utah State led the Broncos going into the half 30-24 before the Broncos were able to score 38 points in the second half and hold Utah State to 29 points.
A big reason for this loss was the shooting percentage for Utah State. The Aggies made only 20 of their 52 attempted shots (38.5%) and made only 4 of 18 field goals (22.2%). Meanwhile the Broncos shot 26 for 65 (40%) and went 5-20 from three (25%). Utah State allowed Boise State to grab 16 offensive rebounds, another factor in the disappointing loss. Utah State put up 10 assists, five steals, six blocks, and had nine turnovers and 18 fouls.
Justin Bean had 14 points on 6 for 16 shooting (37.5%) and made two threes. He also had 12 rebounds, an assist, two blocks, three turnovers, and two personal fouls. Brandon Horvath and Steven Ashworth both had nine points on 4-7 shooting (57.1%) and 3-7 shooting respectively (42.9%). Horvath had two offensive rebounds, two defensive rebounds, an assist, a steal, a block, two turnovers, and two personal fouls. Ashworth had five rebounds, four assists, two steals, and three turnovers. Sean Bairstow had eight points on 2-8 shooting (25%) and had five rebounds, an assist, a steal, and two personal fouls. Off the bench, RJ Eytle-Rock had 14 points and made 3 of his 6 shots while also shooting a perfect 8 for 8 from the free throw line. He had four rebounds, an assist, a steal, a turnover and three personal fouls.
Overall, an inconsistent second half was what cost Utah State victory in this game. The Aggies continue to fall in the standings, now at 9th in the basketball standings and have practically no shot of winning the tournament unless they win the Mountain West conference tournament in Vegas which would get the Aggies an automatic spot. There is still a lot of work to be done to get to that point and the Aggies have a lot of soul searching to do as a team as they prepare to face San Diego State on January 26th.