UTAH STATE AGGIES

Poor Start Dooms Utah State In Second Home Loss Of Season

Feb 8, 2023, 10:39 PM | Updated: Feb 12, 2023, 4:26 pm

LOGAN, Utah – A furious second-half comeback attempt by Utah State wasn’t enough as Max Shulga’s potential game-winner rimmed out in a 63-61 loss.

The Aggies (19-6, 8-4) hosted the San Diego State Aztecs (19-5, 10-2) at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum on Wednesday, February 8. It was the season’s second matchup between these programs with SDSU prevailing 85-75 at home on January 25.

Utah State entered the game riding a three-game winning streak, looking to win their sixth straight at home. The Aggies fended off a second-half comeback against Colorado State, winning 88-79 in their last game.

SDSU went 1-1 last week, losing by nine in Reno before beating Air Force 70-60 in Colorado Springs over the weekend.

RELATED: 12 Second-Half Threes Lead Utah State Over Colorado State

Steven Ashworth’s 18 points led the Aggies. Taylor Funk added 11 points in the loss.

Matt Bradley led all scorers with 18 points for San Diego State.

First Half

After hitting five threes in his previous game, Utah State’s Taylor Funk got the scoring started with a corner three that was assisted by Steven Ashworth.

The Aggies would jump out to a 10-6 lead heading into the first media timeout.

After falling behind by five, the Aztecs came alive. A 12-0 run gave SDSU a 20-13 lead and the Aggies began to unravel.

RELATED: Utah State Must Take Care Of Business At Home For NCAA Tournament Birth

Multiple technical fouls and a contentious moment near the San Diego State bench with 6:49 left in the half slowed the game significantly. When the dust settled, Aztecs point guard Darrion Trammell had been ejected, Conner Gillis and Connor Odom were thrown out after leaving the USU bench area and Aggie head coach Ryan Odom picked up a technical foul.

Once order had been restored, it was apparent that USU was playing the Aztecs game instead of the other way around.

Junior center Trevin Dorius made a nice play, blocking an SDSU shot and turning it into points on the other end when Sean Bairstow finished a layup.

The Aztecs took a 44-28 lead into the halftime locker room.

Second Half

In need of a spark after a frustrating first half, Bairstow hit Dorius with a perfect lob pass that the big man finished with authority.

Moments later, a second-chance bucket from Dorius got USU with ten at 44-34.

Slowly chipping away, Utah State found themselves down 56-49 after a Steven Ashworth floater tickled the twine, forcing a timeout from San Diego State with the Spectrum on the verge of bedlam.

Trailing by ten and looking to make a run, the Aggie defense forced two shot-clock violations against SDSU.

Ashworth took advantage at the other end, hitting a transition three to make it 62-55 with 3:58 left.

RELATED: Without Rylan Jones Healthy, Aggies Ceiling Remains Limited

Funk brought USU within three with a driving layup with 1:51 left. San Diego State picked up an offensive rebound but Funk forced his second steal of the game, creating a transition opportunity.

Dan Akin got fouled and made both free throws, bringing the Aggies within one.

With a chance to take the lead, a Max Shulga free throw line jumper came up short. SDSU secured the rebound forcing the Aggies to foul. Keshad Johnson missed the second foul shot, giving the Aggies one final attempt with 1.5 seconds on the clock.

A lengthy review prolonged the inevitable as Utah State fell 63-61. It was their second loss at home this season and snapped a three-game losing streak in Logan for the Aztecs.

Up Next

Utah State heads to California where they will face the San Jose State Spartans (14-10, 5-6) on Saturday, February 11. Tip-off for this game is scheduled for 8 p.m. (MST) USU looks to sweep the season series against the Spartans after a 75-74, come-from-behind win in Logan on January 21.

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

Utah State Aggies

BYU, Utah State, Food Bank...
Mitch Harper

BYU, Utah State Football Teams Made Large Donation To Utah Food Bank

Members of the BYU and Utah State football teams joined forces at the Utah Food Bank.
4 days ago
Utah-State-Missouri-2023-NCAA-Tournament...
Kyle Ireland

Instant Replay: Crying USU Cheerleader Goes Viral During NCAA Tournament

Utah State cheerleader Ashlyn Whimpey went viral on social media after showing some emotions on the sideline during the 2023 NCAA Tournament.
4 days ago
utah state head coach ryan odom...
Brian Preece

Three-Point Shot Evades Utah State In First Round Loss To Missouri

Utah State's hopes of a first-round upset evaporated as Missouri pulled away in the second half for a 76-65 win.
5 days ago
Tyler-Larsen-Washington-Commanders-NFL...
Kyle Ireland

Former USU Standout Tyler Larsen Re-Signs With Commanders

Former Utah State and current NFL offensive lineman Tyler Larsen re-signed with the Washington Commanders.
5 days ago
utah-state-guard-max-sulga...
Brian Preece

Three Keys If Utah State Hopes To Advance In NCAA Tournament

If you're fortunate enough to make the NCAA tournament, you're gonna play a great team worthy of being in the NCAA tournament.
6 days ago
Ryan Odom - Utah State Aggies...
Brian Preece

Ryan Odom Brings Unique NCAA Tournament Experience In First Big Dance With Utah State

Entering his first NCAA tournament with Utah State, head coach Ryan Odom is no stranger to the madness of March.
6 days ago

Sponsored Articles

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...
KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.
Jordan-Clarkson-Utah-Jazz...
KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.
Football soccer ball on grass field on stadium...
KSL Digital Sales

Everything You Need to Know to Watch the 2022 World Cup

Find out where and when to watch the upcoming games and final match for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, including where to find live updates.
ksl sports logos...
KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.
jimmy-buffett-tour-art...
KSL Sports

Win Tickets Wednesday: Jimmy Buffett

Get your Hawaiian shirts ready.
Iron Maiden tour...
KSL Sports

Win Tickets Wednesday: Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden returns to Utah in 2022 with The Legacy of the Beast tour.
Poor Start Dooms Utah State In Second Home Loss Of Season