After winning five straight Utah State is back to a bad losing streak, losing the past four games. The most recent loss came on the road against Boise State in a 68-57 game. Utah State led 30-29 at the half before being outscored 39-27 in the second half. Most of the points for the Broncos came late as Utah State and Boise State were in a tight game up to a couple of minutes left, but the Aggies weren’t able to hold on long enough.
The leading scorer for Utah State was RJ Eytle-Rock, who had 16 points off of 6-11 shooting (55%) and four rebounds, two assists, a steal, four turnovers, and four personal fouls. Brandon Horvath had 11 points on 5-12 shooting (42%) and also had seven rebounds, an assist, a block, three turnovers, and two personal fouls. Justin Bean had just six points off of 3-10 shooting and went 0-5 from three-point range. He also had seven rebounds, an assist, a steal, a block, two turnovers, and two personal fouls.
Off the bench, Zee Hamoda had 10 points on 4-10 shooting and posted seven rebounds, two steals, two blocks, and two turnovers. Guard Rylan Jones had six points on 2-4 shooting and had three rebounds, three assists, a steal, a turnover, and four personal fouls.
As a team, Utah State attempted 53 shots and made 23 shots (43.4%) while Boise State attempted 42 shots and made 22 of them (52.4%). The Aggies were 7 for 22 from three (31.8%) while Boise State was 5-17 (29.4%). The Aggies made four of their six free throws (66.7%) and Boise State made 19 of their 28 (67.9%). The Aggies outrebounded Boise State 30-25 and also had more assists than Boise State, 15 compared to eight. Boise State had eight steals and three blocks and Utah State had six steals and two blocks. Utah State had a very high 18 turnovers compared to Boise State’s 12 and also had a very high 23 fouls compared to Boise State’s 13.
The bottom line is that Utah State got into poor foul trouble early on and it made a difference in the second half because Boise State was able to get easier points at the free-throw line. Utah State was also unable to be consistent offensively. Justin Bean scoring only six points does not help matters at all as he struggled, so Utah State was reliant on RJ Eytle-Rock, who scored 16 points but had four fouls.
This has been an overall disappointing season for the Aggies, who are now 15-13 and eighth place in the Mountain West. The talent is there Utah State just hasn’t been able to find answers to their struggles. As previously mentioned, Utah State isn’t going to be an automatic qualifier for the Mountain West in the NCAA Tournament. The only way the Aggies get in is if they somehow find a way to win the Mountain West Championship, which may seem unlikely at this point due to the struggles that Utah State has been having lately.
Up next for Utah State are two home games against New Mexico and Colorado State before finishing the season on the road against San Jose State.