Utah State Falls Short In Overtime Against Bradley Braves

Nov 11, 2023, 8:31 PM | Updated: 9:30 pm

Utah State Aggies - Dee Glen Smith Spectrum...

Utah State fans cheer on the Aggie men's basketball team in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. (Courtesy of Deseret News)

(Courtesy of Deseret News)

LOGAN, Utah – Utah State had chances but couldn’t get its offense on track in overtime, falling 72-66 to Bradley.

Utah State (1-1) played its first road game of the season on Saturday, November 11 against the Bradley Braves.

RELATED: Utah State Beats South Dakota Mines In Impressive Season-Opener

“This place was great,” Sprinkle said of the Bradley crowd. “Playing in front of an awesome crowd. It felt like a conference game today. I told the team, ‘We will win a game down the road because of this experience.”

Great Osobor had a solid all-around performance in the loss. The junior from Bradford, England scored a team-high 22 points, blocked four shots, and hauled in seven rebounds. Senior guard Darius Brown II scored 13 points while adding eight rebounds and eight assists. Isaac Johnson chipped in 11 points and seven boards.

Connor Hickman led all scorers with 21 points. Christian Davis finished with 13 points and made the game-winning three in overtime.

First Half

A brand new Utah State team got off to a fast start thanks to a Josh Uduje steal and assist to Darius Brown II for a fast break layup in the opening seconds. Minutes later, Great Osobor got loose in the paint for an easy jam. Despite eight early paint points for the Aggies, USU trailed 10-8 at the first media timeout.

Fresh off of receiving an NCAA transfer waiver, senior guard Ian Martinez gave Utah State a 15-14 lead when he hit the team’s first three.

Midway through the half, Osobor threw down another thunderous jam, giving him a game-high 11 early points. Despite four early turnovers, the game was tied 19-19 at the under-eight minute timeout.

Defense was the hallmark of the first half as both teams shot below 40 percent from the field. The Braves made 11-of-28 shots and went 1-of-9 from deep. USU made 38.7 percent of its shots and just two from beyond the three-point stripe. The Aggies had 10 first-half assists while Bradley had only one.

RELATED: Utah State Basketball Picked Ninth In Preseason Mountain West Poll

The lone Aggie bright spot, Osobor made 7-of-8 shots for a game-high 19 first-half points. After leading the Aggies with 19 points in the opener, Uduje did not score in 11 minutes of action.  Connor Hickman and Christian Davis each scored seven for Bradley.

Second Half

Both teams struggled to open the second half, missing seven of their first eight shots. USU maintained its two-point lead during the cold stretch, leading 32-20 at the first media timeout.

Out of the media timeout, Bradley used an 8-2 run to build a 40-34 lead and force Sprinkle to call a timeout. It was the largest lead for either team to that point.

RELATED: Utah State Men’s Basketball Releases 2023-24 Schedule

Utah State continued to struggle from the field, missing 12 of its first 15 shots in the second half. Strong USU defense kept the Aggies close, preventing Bradley from opening up its advantage.

Former Oregon Duck Isaac Johnson gave his team a boost when he hit a top-of-the-key three, cutting Bradley’s lead to 44-40.

The pace picked up midway through the half as both programs looked to create transition chances. Bradley made 3-of-4 shots during a two-minute stretch while the Aggies missed three of four. The Braves lead ballooned to nine as a result.

One of two Montana State Bobcats to join Utah State along with first-year head coach Danny Sprinkle, Brown II spearheaded a 9-2 Aggie run that saw USU take a 56-54 lead, forcing Bradley to call a timeout. Brown II scored five points and assisted on a three from Max Agbonkpolo.

Hickman and Brown II traded threes, sending a 59-all tie into the final two minutes.

An offensive rebound and an old-fashioned and one from Johnson gave USU the 62-61 lead with 1:05 to play.

After Bradley tied the game with a free throw, Brown II found a rolling Osobor diving to the hoop. Osobor was bumped on his way up, missing the layup and leaving Bradley with a chance to win.

Tied at 62, Hickman missed a three as time expired to force overtime.


Two Osobor free throws gave USU a 64-62 lead less than a minute into overtime.

A minute later during frenetic play on both sides, Osobor stopped a Brave offensive rebounding from turning into points when he swatted the shot away. It was his fourth block of the night.

Bradley pulled away down the stretch as the Aggies finished o-of-6 from the field in overtime to fall 72-66.

Following The Aggies With KSL Sports Zone

Utah State returns to the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum to host the Southern Utah Thunderbirds on Tuesday, November 14. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. (MT).

Listen to USU basketball games on KSL Sports Zone with Scott Garrard on the call.

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

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Utah State Falls Short In Overtime Against Bradley Braves