Utah State Fights Through First-Half Doldrums For Win Over Southern Utah

Nov 14, 2023, 9:16 PM | Updated: Nov 15, 2023, 11:53 am

LOGAN, Utah – In a matchup of first-year head coaches, Danny Sprinkle got the best of Rob Jeter as Utah State battled for a 93-84 win over Southern Utah.

Utah State hosted the Thunderbirds in non-conference play at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum on Tuesday, November 14.

Great Osobor’s first thirty-point game came in a double-double effort as the junior forward finished with 31 points, 10 boards, and three blocks in the win. Darius Brown hit 5-of-9 threes in 37 minutes, finishing with 22 points, eight assists, and a pair of steals.  Mason Falslev finished possibly his best night as an Aggie, scoring 11 points to go with nine rebounds and four assists for the redshirt freshman out of nearby Sky View High School.

RELATED: Utah State Falls Short In Overtime Against Bradley Braves

Prophet Johnson led four Thunderbirds in double-figure scoring with 24 points on 9-of-11 shooting. Dominique Ford played all 40 minutes, scoring 19 points in the process for SUU.

First Half

The Aggies came out flat after their first loss of the season over the weekend. SUU jumped out to an 8-0 lead before allowing a made shot from Utah State.

RELATED: Southern Utah Men’s Basketball Beats Life Pacific For First Victory

The Thunderbirds’ second three forced Sprinkle to call a timeout with his team trailing 11-2 just two and a half minutes into the game.

Senior Ian Martinez used his athleticism to keep the Aggies close with a highlight reel blocked shot.

Sophomore guard Prophet Johnson made his first four shots, leading SUU to a 22-17 lead at the under-12-minute timeout. Redshirt freshman Mason Falslev had four points and four rebounds in the opening minutes for his hometown Aggies.

Brock Felder got the Thunderbird fans in attendance out of their seats when he threw down a putback dunk that gave his team a nine point lead.

Find KSL Sports coverage of Southern Utah University Athletics here.

Later in the half, Great Osobor’s first block led to a transition bucket for Josh Uduje.

After trailing for most of the first half, Utah State’s defense triggered a 9-0 run to take a brief 44-42 lead. Nestor Dyachok quieted the Spectrum crowd with a corner three to retake the lead with less than a minute left in the half.

USU closed the half on an 11-3 run to take a 46-45 lead. The Aggies led for less than a minute in the first half but making 13-of-19 free throws kept them close with the three-point shot (1-of-6) not falling. SUU attempted just three free throws in the half.

Second Half

Utah State came out swinging in the second half, building a seven-point lead. Despite the hot play, Aggie fans held their breath when Osobor limped to the bench with 14:53 to play.

The junior wing would return several minutes later with the USU lead at nine, 66-57.

Martinez would foul out for Utah State with 6:55 left but the three-point shooting of Darius Brown II and the efficiency of Osobor allowed the Aggies to battle through the loss of Martinez’s experience.

Brown II made five of his first eight three-point attempts and was the only Aggie to hit a three until late in the second half. Osobor put together his first double-double in Aggie blue and white, making eight of his first eleven shots as he approached 30 points.

Bovine Blog: Great Osobor, Darius Brown II Raise Utah State’s Ceiling

SUU used a late 7-0 run to cut the Aggie lead to 80-76 with 4:26 left.

Late in the half, a technical whistled against Zion Young appeared to stymie the USU momentum. The Aggies turned the technical free throws into a five-point run when Javon Jackson hit the first three not made by Brown II.

Utah State would hold on for a 93-84 win.

Southern Utah heads to Ruston, Louisiana where they will face Louisiana Tech Bulldogs on Tuesday, November 21. Tipoff is at 2 p.m. (MT).

Following The Aggies With KSL Sports Zone

Utah State will play three games in the Cayman Islands Classic, beginning with an afternoon contest against the Marshall Thundering Herd. Tipoff is at 3 p.m. (MT) on Sunday, November 19.

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

Find KSL Sports coverage of Utah State University Athletics here. 

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Utah State Fights Through First-Half Doldrums For Win Over Southern Utah