UTAH STATE AGGIES
Utah State Takes On Wyoming In Season’s Final Stretch
LOGAN, Utah – With three regular-season opportunities left to prove themselves, Utah State can’t afford even the appearance of a letdown against Wyoming.
Utah State (21-7, 10-5) travels to Laramie, Wyoming where they will take on the Wyoming Cowboys (8-18, 3-11) on Tuesday, February 21. Tip-off for this game is scheduled for 7 p.m. (MT). Wyoming will be looking to exact revenge on USU for 83-63 loss in Logan earlier this season.
🏀 Highlights from @USUBasketball comeback Win over Nevada 🔵⚪️#AtThePeak | #MWMBB | #AggiesAllTheWay pic.twitter.com/MjhxeDu1cK
— Mountain West (@MountainWest) February 19, 2023
Over the weekend, USU kept their NCAA Tournament hopes alive when they battled back from a 21-point deficit to beat Nevada 75-66. It was the Aggies second-straight win and could provide an excellent spring-board to the season’s final stretch.
“The crowd was huge tonight,’ Steven Ashworth said postgame. “We definitely fed off of that.”
“That’s why you love playing in front of a sell-out crowd because they can help flip the momentum for you like that. So, when it came down to those crunch minutes, we were already used to feeling that throughout the whole game which I think gave us the upper hand in the final few minutes.”
RELATED: Pair Of Aggies Set Career-Highs In Win Over Air Force
RJ Eytle-Rock Scores 1,000th Career Point
A senior out of London, England, backup point guard RJ Eytle-Rock probably hasn’t seen his senior year play out the way he expected it to. After starting 64 games with UMBC in his first three seasons, Eytle-Rock made 30 starts for Ryan Odom and the Aggies last year.
Congrats to @OfficialRj_1 on surpassing 1,000 career points tonight!#AggiesAllTheWay pic.twitter.com/FfNcH4sewS
— USU Men's Hoops (@USUBasketball) February 19, 2023
In 27 games this season, the 6’4 guard has come off the bench each and every time. Despite the change in his role, Eytle-Rock has remained a solid contributor off the bench.
On Saturday, with Aggie legend and the program’s all-time leading scorer getting his jersey retired at halftime, it was Eytle-Rock and fellow bench player Dan Akin that spurred the comeback win.
“It feels great,” Eytle-Rock said after the win. “My teammates are happy for me. They know what I can contribute to the team. I can’t thank them enough.”
Prior to this past week, Eytle-Rock had attempted more than three shots in a game just once this year. Eytle-Rock attempted five shots against Air Force, showing an aggressiveness on the offensive end he hadn’t displayed much this season.
RELATED: Utah State Weathers Storm, Completes Comeback Over Nevada
Against Nevada, two first half threes kept the Aggies within striking distance. For the night, he went 3-of-4 from the field for ten points with two blocks and a steal in 17 minutes.
“I’m proud of myself for just sticking through it, sticking to it. I knew a game like this would come, but at the end of the day, it’s about wins and just keep building down the stretch so I’m happier about the win,” Eytle-Rock concluded.
Wyoming Cowboys (8-18, 3-11, 11th in MW)
Currently sitting last in the Mountain West, Wyoming averages 69.7 points per game. Defensively, the Cowboys allow 71.5 points per game, the second-worst mark in the conference.
Despite their unenviable record, the Cowboys are no pushover at home. Early in the conference schedule, Wyoming pushed a then-undefeated New Mexico to the brink, falling by a single point. A week later, San Diego State got all they could handle before eking out an 80-75 win. Six of Wyoming’s eight wins have come at home.
Gameday in Laramie🤘
🆚 at Wyoming
🕒 7:00 PM
🔊 https://t.co/G20BK2ZYpI#AggiesAllTheWay pic.twitter.com/rlJxl6hbDT
— USU Men's Hoops (@USUBasketball) February 21, 2023
Hunter Maldonado (14.7 points per game) and Noah Reynolds (14.5 ppg) lead the Cowboys as the team’s only double-digit scorers. Maldonado is second on the team behind Hunter Thompson in rebounding and leads Wyoming with 33 steals this season.
RELATED: Akin, Bairstow Leads Utah State To Blowout Win Over Cowboys
Utah State will have a week of practice before playing its next game. In their final regular season road game, USU takes on the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels (16-11, 5-10) on Saturday, March 1. Tip-off for this game is scheduled for 9 p.m. (MT).
The Aggies then close out the regular season when they welcome the Boise State Broncos (21-6, 11-3) to the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum on Saturday, March 4. Tip-off for this game is scheduled for 7 p.m. (MT).
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