Aggies fall to Spartans, suffer major blow to NCAA Tournament hopes
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LOGAN — Utah State entered Saturday’s recreation at San Jose State unblemished towards Quad 2 opponents and in dire want of one other win so as to preserve its at-large bid hopes in good standing.
As an alternative, the Aggies stumble again to Logan in bitter style after permitting a much-improved Spartans squad to take over the sport late and pull off a signature 69-64 upset win.
Utah State led by as a lot as 5 factors within the second half earlier than Spartans guard Omari Moore took the sport over, the place he burned the Aggies on downhill drives and scored 16 factors within the ultimate 10 minutes.
Utah State had a 1-point lead with 2:32 remaining, however San Jose State hit back-to-back second-chance buckets, together with a layup from Moore with 1:01 remaining to take a 65-62 lead.
The Aggies didn’t ship on the opposite finish, as Max Shulga missed the entrance finish of a one-and-one alternative, and Taylor Funk’s potential game-tying 3-pointer was blocked with six seconds left to seal the Spartans win.
Utah State drops to 8-5 in Mountain West play and suffers its first back-to-back losses of the yr.
“I do not even know what to say, actually,” junior guard Sean Bairstow mentioned. “Simply do not assume we performed to what we all know we will do. We did not end the performs that we often do.”
Though Aggies head coach Ryan Odom mentioned the crew was “jazzed and needed to play,” the Aggies appeared to lack power in entrance of a sparse crowd on the Occasion Middle. The crew trailed 13-2 to open the sport and by no means wanting in sync all through the evening.
Towards the perfect rebounding crew within the Mountain West, the Aggies have been outrebounded 36-27 and fell to 3-5 when shedding the battle of the boards. Defensively, Utah State had a number of completely different gamers guard Moore within the second half, however every didn’t comprise him; the senior completed with a game-high 27 factors.
“Moore made a ton of actually good performs down the stretch, acquired to his proper hand and the open ground, and completed them to his credit score,” Odom mentioned. “We had adequate rebounds, that, you recognize, key rebounds that we would have liked on the proper instances. After which we did not make the photographs that we would have liked to make.”
Ahead Dan Akin (12 factors) and heart Trevin Dorius (11 factors) supplied a carry to the crew all through the evening; Akin scored 8 fast factors off the bench to tie the sport at 17-all, and Dorius was profitable on the receiving finish of the pick-and-roll within the second half.
Dorius suffered his fourth foul of the sport with simply over 16 minutes left within the recreation and did not return. His foul hassle — and the teaching employees’s choice to not carry him again into the sport — turned out to be pricey. In his absence, defensively, the Aggies gave up 6 second-chance factors and eased Moore’s path to the rim.
The Aggies maintained the lead within the second half as Bairstow (10 factors) hit two 3s and Ashworth (14 factors) was excellent from the free-throw line. Although the Aggies shot a collective 34.5% within the half, Moore and the Spartans slowly took over, and Utah State lacked the offensive firepower to maintain tempo as soon as it relinquished the lead.
“It’s important to rating and it’s a must to get the stops late,” Odom mentioned. “We weren’t ready to do this tonight; they have been.”
It has been a whiplash of per week for the Aggies. The crew went from a bucket away from a signature Quad 1 win towards San Diego State on Wednesday to having its at-large aspirations on life assist with 5 video games left within the common season.
“It is two shut video games we have misplaced now in a row,” Odom mentioned. “It hurts, however we will not let it deter the remainder of our season.”