Akin, Bairstow Leads Utah State To Blowout Win Over Cowboys

Jan 10, 2023, 10:58 PM | Updated: 10:59 pm

utah state forward dan akin...

Utah State forward Dan Akin rises for a dunk in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum during the 2022-23 season.

LOGAN, Utah – The high-flying Utah State Aggies put on an aerial display as they dominated a depleted Wyoming team in an 83-63 rout.

Utah State (14-3, 3-1) hosted the injury-depleted Wyoming Cowboys (5-11, 0-4) at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum in Logan, UT on Tuesday, January 10.

Utah State returns home after suffering their most lopsided defeat of the season, an 82-59 throttling at the hands of the Boise State Broncos. The Aggies played without starting point guard Rylan Jones. Jones left the game against Boise State and was placed in concussion protocol for the second time this season.

The Cowboys come in looking for their first conference win after losses to Fresno State, New Mexico and an 80-75 home loss to San Diego State. Wyoming’s three Mountain West losses have come by a total of nine points.

Taylor Funk led the Aggies with 22 points, 18 in the first half. Though it was Dan Akin and Sean Bairstow who combined for 30 points and a series of second half highlight dunks that destroyed any hope of a comeback Wyoming still had.

Hunter Maldonado led the Cowboys with 20 points. Jeremiah Oden added 13 points in the Cowboys fourth straight loss.

RELATED: Utah State On The Wrong End Of A Hot Shooting Night, Lose To Boise State

First Half

Jeremiah Oden answered Sean Bairstow’s layup to open the game with a three giving Wyoming an early 3-2 lead.

The Cowboys would not enjoy another lead in the half.

RELATED: Terrific First Half Carries Utah State To Win Over Air Force

Bairstow would tie the game with a free throw before Taylor Funk added a three and USU wouldn’t look back against the injury-depleted Wyoming Cowboys.

Minutes later, Funk’s second three of the night gave Utah State their first double-digit advantage at 17-7.

With the Spectrum crowd going wild, RJ Eytle-Rock joined the fun, taking a pass in the right corner, driving left before spinning back to his right for a contested layup.

Later in the half with the Aggies enjoying a commanding 11-point lead, Bairstow went coast to coast, throwing down his second dunk of the night to make it 35-22 USU.

The Aggies took a 40-26 lead into halftime.

Taylor Funk carried the Aggies in the opening 20 minutes, pouring in 18 points on 5-of-6 shooting with four threes. Jeremiah Oden’s seven points led the Cowboys first half scorers.

Second Half

Dan Akin started the second half in place of Trevin Dorius as Ryan Odom looked to match-up with a smaller Wyoming team.

The Cowboys clawed back, using a 6-0 run to get within eight at 42-34 with just over 17 minutes remaining.

USU answered with six straight points in the pain, restoring their lead to 15 after a Steven Ashworth free throw.

After his three-point play, Ashworth picked up consecutive assists finding Funk for a lay-in and Max Shulga for a three. Shulga’s triple gave him 11 points and USU their largest lead of the night, 54-36.

RELATED: Utah State To Honor Former Aggie Legend Jaycee Carroll

With only eight scholarship players available due to a rash of injuries, Wyoming simply couldn’t compete with Utah State’s energy as their depth showed.

The Aggie lead ballooned to 25 when Dan Akin found a loose ball in transition, throwing down a hammer dunk. The slam also gave Akin his fifth double-double of the season with 12 points and 14 rebounds.

Not wanting Akin to get all the glory, Bairstow threw down his third dunk, posterizing a pair of Wyoming defenders unfortunate enough to jump with the junior from Australia.

The dunk gave Bairstow 14 points as USU took a commanding 23-point lead with four minutes left.

Putting on their own personal dunk contest, Bairstow and Akin then connected with Bairstow supplying the alley, Akin the oop to put away the Cowboys.

Utah State would win going away, 83-63.

Up Next

Utah State travels to Reno, Nevada to take on the Nevada Wolfpack (14-3, 4-0) on Friday, January 13. Tip-off for this game is scheduled for 9 p.m. (MST).

The Aggies will play a two game home schedule the following week. USU welcomes in UNLV (12-3, 1-2) on Tuesday, January 17. On Saturday, January 21, the Aggies will see the San Jose State Spartans (12-6, 3-2) come to town for a 4 p.m. (MST) matinee.

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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Akin, Bairstow Leads Utah State To Blowout Win Over Cowboys