Utah State Stymies Runnin’ Rebels In Dominating Second Half

Mar 1, 2023, 11:14 PM | Updated: 11:23 pm

LOGAN, Utah –ย Junior point guard Steven Ashworth wasn’t going to allow UNLV any thought of a comeback on Wednesday night. After his team’s 12-point halftime lead had been whittled to four, Ashworth scored eight straight points, starting a 23-5 USU run on their way to a 91-66 win.

In their final road game of the season, Utah State (23-7, 12-5) took on the UNLV Runninโ€™ Rebelsย (17-12, 6-11) at the Thomas & Mack Center on Wednesday, March 1. This was a rematch of a 75-71 Utah State win over the Rebelsย in Logan on January 23.

The Aggies played just one game last week,ย outlasting the Wyoming Cowboys for a 65-55 win.

UNLV halted a three-game losing streak, defeating Air Force 54-53, on February 24.

RELATED: Utah State Hangs On, Aggies Pick Up Important Win Against Wyoming

Ashworth’s 27 points & five threes led the Aggies to a dominating road win. Max Shulga had a great all-around game, finishing with 19 points, five rebounds, four assists, two steals, and a block. Zee Hamoda and Dan Akin combined for 22 points off the bench on 9-of-10 shooting.

EJ Harkless led UNLV with 20 points in the loss.

RELATED: Report: Former Aggie Sam Merrill To Sign 10-Day Contract With Cleveland Cavaliers

First Half

Junior Aggie guard Max Shulga opened the scoring by knocking down a mid-range jumper on the game’s first possession.

Utah State made 5 of their first eight shots to take a 10-9 lead with 14:44 left in the half.

After Dan Akin threw down a second-chance dunk for USU, the Rebels reeled off six straight points to take a brief 15-12 lead.

RELATED: Instant Replay: Former Aggie Sam Merrill Enjoys Career-Day For Cleveland Charge

Utah State answered with a 9-0 run, including five points from leading-scorer Steven Ashworth to take a 21-15 lead with 7:56 left in the half.

Out of a timeout, Shulga hit his first three to make it a 12-0 run as Utah State opened up the game’s first double digit lead, 26-15. Moments later, he became the first Aggie to reach double-figures with his second three of the half.

Leading 34-25, USU used another 6-0 run to build a 15-point lead before two free throws from Shane Nowell stopped the run. The Aggies ended up taking a 44-32 halftime lead.

EJ Harkless led all scorers with 15 points for UNLV. Ashworth and Shulga each scored 14 points for the Aggies. USU’s defense limited the Rebels to 35.5 percent shooting (11-of-31) while the Aggies made 51.7 percent (15-of-29) of their shots.

Second Half

Early in the second half, Akin soared to the hoop for the highlight play of the night. On a pick and roll with Sean Bairstow, Akin rolled to the basket, catching a lob from Bairstow and finishing through a foul for the and-one dunk.

After falling behind 49-37, UNLV used an 8-0 burst to get within four points with 15:56 to play. Jackie Johnson III made two Rebel threes during the stretch.

RELATED: Utah Stateโ€™s Blake Anderson Remembers Son, Encourages People Hurting To Get Support

With the Rebels within striking distance, Ashworth scored eight straight, including a 28-footer right in front of the Aggie bench. USU held a 57-45 lead with 13:22 to play.

The lead ballooned to 17 points with Utah State going on a 14-1 over 4:41 of play to take a 63-46 lead. UNLV missed five of six shots while the Aggies surged.

The Rebels called a timeout to try and stop the bleeding after Bairstow hit a three to give USU a 70-50 lead.

The Aggies cruised the rest of the way, picking up a 91-66 win.

Up Next

Utah State closes out the regular season when they welcome the Boise State Broncosย (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).

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

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

Take us with you, wherever you go.

Download the new & improved KSL Sports app from Utahโ€™s sports leader. You can stream live radio, video and stay up to date on all of your favorite teams.

  • Utah State Aggies Scoreboard

  • Utah State Aggies Team Leaders

  • Utah State Aggies Standings

Utah State Aggies

Kyle Ireland

Josh Davis: CPR By Utah State Football Staff ‘Saved My Life’

Utah State WR Josh Davis provided an update on his health and thanked the Aggies' training staff for providing CPR that saved his life.
3 days ago
Nate Dixon - Utah State Aggies...
Chandler Holt

Nate Dixon Will Temporarily Fill Utah State Head Coach Vacancy In Interim Role

Following Ryan Odom's departure, Nate Dixon will be the interim Head Coach for Utah State while the coaching search progresses.
3 days ago
utah state head coach ryan odom...
Brian Preece

Report: Ryan Odom Expected To Leave Utah State For VCU

After two seasons at Utah State, Ryan Odom will leave the Aggies to accept the same position with the VCU Rams.
4 days ago
Bobby Wagner - Seattle Seahawks...
Brian Preece

Report: Bobby Wagner Returning To Seattle Seahawks After Year In Los Angeles

According to reports, former Utah State linebacker Bobby Wagner has signed a one-year deal to return to the Seattle Seahawks.
8 days ago
KSL Sports

USU Coach Blake Anderson Provides Update On Player Who Was Taken To Hospital

On Thursday, a Utah State football player was taken to the hospital after a 'medical emergency' in practice.ย 
9 days ago
KSL Sports

Utah State Football Player Has ‘Medical Emergency’ During Practice, Taken To Hospital

A Utah State football player was taken to the hospital Thursday after collapsing during practice, according to the school.
10 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.
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.
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.
Utah State Stymies Runnin’ Rebels In Dominating Second Half