After a stunning 75-57 blowout victory over San Diego State, Utah State posted another blowout victory. This time Utah State faced Nevada and the Aggies walked out with a 78-49 victory. Utah State put up an impressive 45 points in the first half while holding Nevada to 27 and in the second half Utah State put up 33 points and held Nevada to 22.
The reason Utah State won this game was because of shooting percentage. As a team, Utah State attempted 60 shots and made 30 of them (50%) while also making 10 of the attempted 27 three pointers (27%). Meanwhile Nevada made only 18 of its attempted 58 shots (31%) and only went 2 for 15 from the free throw line (13.3%). Utah State outrebounded Nevada 41-31 and had an impressive 22 assists compared to Nevada’s nine. Nevada had 10 steals and six blocks while Utah State had seven steals and four blocks. Both teams had the same amount of turnovers, 15, and had problems with technical fouls. Utah State received a poor four technical fouls while Nevada received two.
Justin Bean and RJ Eytle-Rock both scored 12 points for Utah State on 5-11 shooting (45.4%) and 5-8 shooting (62.5%) respectively and both also went 2-5 from three (40%). Bean had five rebounds, four assists, two steals, two blocks, and three fouls. Eytle-Rock had two assists and a turnover. Steven Ashworth scored 11 points and made four of his attempted nine shots (44.4%) while making two shots of his attempted six from three (33.3%). He also had six rebounds, seven assists, a turnover, and two personal fouls. Both Brock Horvath and Sean Bairstow scored 10 points on 4-10 shooting (40%) and 4-7 shooting (57.1%) respectively. Horvath had seven rebounds, two assists, two steals, a block, two turnovers, and four personal fouls. Bairstow scored two threes and also had two rebounds, two assists, a steal, two turnovers, and four personal fouls. Off the bench, Max Shulga scored 11 points on 4-5 shooting (80%), 1-2 from three (50%). He had five rebounds, two assists, and a steal. Trevin Dorius had six points on 2-3 shooting (66.6%). He also had two rebounds, an assist, a block, a turnover, and a personal foul.
Overall this is two really strong back to back performances by Utah State as they sit at 12-9 (3-5), 8th place in the Mountain West Conference. While it has been two strong performances, the number of technical fouls in this game is concerning for a team that has only recently managed to find their stride. The last thing they need is to impede that stride with pointless fouls. As mentioned earlier in the month, Utah State is out of contention when it comes to receiving a bid to play in the NCAA Tournament. The only way Utah State would be able to get a bid would be to win the Mountain West tournament. At this point that seems very unlikely because there’s a good chance Utah State has to play in the first round of the tournament, but if Utah State can continue their winning streak and keep improving, there’s nothing that says that Utah State can’t compete in the conference tournament.