Balanced Utah State Weathers San Francisco Rally, Move To 7-0

Dec 4, 2022, 8:30 PM | Updated: Dec 5, 2022, 10:53 am

LOGAN, Utah – A furious San Francisco comeback attempt came up short as Utah State showed their late game moxie in a 82-64 win to remain undefeated.

Utah State (7-0) faced San Francisco (7-2) in a neutral site game played at Chase Center on Sunday, December 3.

This was just the second road game of the season for Utah State. The Aggies needed overtime to beat San Diego on November 17. USU survived a plucky Utah Tech team, winning 86-81 to start the week.

RELATED: Utah State Pulls Away Late Against Utah Tech

The Dons dominated Little Rock 90-68 in their last game.

Utah State used a balanced offensive attack as five Aggies scored in double-figures with Dan Akin’s 19 points leading the way. Sean Bairstow added 12 while Max Shulga and Taylor Funk scored 16 and 13 respectively. Shulga and Funk also led the Aggies with six rebounds apiece. Ashworth hit a garbage-time three to reach 11 points after struggling from deep much of the night.

Tyrell Roberts’ 18 points led the way from San Francisco. Marcus Williams added 13 while Zane Meeks chipped in 11.

First Half

Perhaps the bright lights of Chase Center, home to the NBA’s Golden State Warriors, were to blame for the slow shooting start for both teams in this Mountain West vs. West Coast Conference battle for supremacy.

RELATED: Aggies Survive Overtime Thriller Against San Diego, Remain Undefeated

The Dons opened 1-of-4 from the field with one turnover. Utah State also started 1-of-4 from the field as both teams adjusted to the unfamiliar environment.

USU adjusted first, hitting their next four shots to take a 10-5 lead into the under-16 timeout.

The Aggie lead ballooned to 12 as Utah State went on a 18-5 run with San Francisco still struggling from the field. The Dons called a timeout to stop the bleeding, trailing 22-10 with 12:10 left in the half.

USU did not have a turnover in the opening eight minutes.

The Dons began to find their footing, going on a 6-0 run as Marcus Williams made three straight shots to bring his team with six at 24-18.

After starting the game 4-of-13 from the field, San Francisco made five straight shots, cutting the Aggie advantage to five, 28-23 with 6:55 left

Out of the timeout, USU clamped down defensively as they held the Dons scoreless for 3:35 of game time. San Francisco also turned the ball over twice during the stretch.

On the other end, Max Shulga hit the second three of the game for the Aggies as they extended the lead to 14 with a 9-0 run.

Utah State used a balanced attack as seven of eight players to see the court in the first half scored.

The Dons wouldn’t hit another shot until Tyrell Roberts hit a three, ending a more than five minute stretch without a field goal.

USU held a 42-27 lead after Roberts’ three.

Roberts picked up an old fashioned three-point play when he drove to the basket, drawing contact from Shulga before hitting the floater.

USU’s Dan Akin finished the first half by knocking down a short floater to extend the lead to 44-30 at the half. Akin led all scorers with 11 points.

Roberts scored 10 to lead the Dons.

Second Half

Trevin Dorius picked up two quick second half fouls, forcing him to the bench with four fouls. Unfortunately for the Dons, that forced Akin to come off the bench earlier than usual.

With USU leading 48-34, these teams traded baskets on seven straight possessions. A steal by Akin ended the scoring outburst with the Aggies enjoying their largest lead of the evening, 59-40.

With Utah State seemingly in control, a driving dunk from Saba Gigiberia shifted the momentum.

USF made a run, outscoring the Aggies 12-0 over the next three minutes. Marcus Williams forced Utah State head coach Ryan Odom to call a timeout when his three with nine minutes left cut the Aggie lead to 10.

The Aggies led 66-56 heading into the under-eight timeout.

San Francisco cut the lead to seven but buckets by Taylor Funk and Akin put it back to 70-59.

That would be that last time San Francisco was within ten points as Utah State improved to 7-0 with the 82-64 win.

Up Next

Utah State will enjoy five days off before heading to Las Vegas, NV where they will face Loyola Marymount on Saturday, December 10. This game will be played at Michelob ULTRA Arena and is scheduled for a 10:30 p.m. (MST) tip-off.

Every Utah State basketball game can be heard on the KSL Sports Zone with Scott Garrard on the call.

Coverage of Utah State University Athletics from KSL Sports can be found here. 

  • Utah State Aggies Scoreboard

  • Utah State Aggies Team Leaders

  • Utah State Aggies Standings

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Balanced Utah State Weathers San Francisco Rally, Move To 7-0