Utah State Falls To Fresno State After Poor Second Half

Jan 18, 2022, 11:20 PM
Sean Bairstow - Utah State vs. New Mexico...
Sean Bairstow #2 of the Utah State Aggies shoots against Sebastian Forsling #3 of the New Mexico Lobos during the first half of their game at The Pit on January 08, 2022 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. (Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – It was a tale of two halves for the Utah State basketball team as they fell to Fresno State 61-54 on Tuesday night on the road.

Utah State led for 30 minutes of the game but it was a late rally by Fresno State that handed them the loss. Sean Bairstow led the Aggies with 12 points, while Justin Bean chipped in 10 points.

Future NBA big man Orlando Robinson had 11 points and 13 rebounds to lead Fresno State. Utah State outscored the Bulldogs 31-21 in the first half but FSU outscored USU 40-23 in the second half.

Utah State Takes Early Lead On Strong Defense

The first 10 minutes of the game was one-sided. Utah State went on an 8-0 run and made eight of their first 11 shots. Fresno State had just eight points during that span and made just three of their first 13 field goal attempts.

That run extended to 13-0 over the next two minutes. The Aggies finished the first half strong and took a 31-21 lead into the halftime break. Brandon Horvath dropped nine points to lead USU in the first half. Rylan Jones and Sean Bairstow scored eight points apiece. Justin Bean played 17 minutes but had two points and two fouls.

Utah State shot 57% from the field, along with 1-of-4 shooting from the three-point line and just one free throw attempt. Fresno State was held to 21% shooting in the first 20 minutes. Orlando Robinson had just five points on 1-of-6 shooting to go with seven rebounds.

Aggies Suffer Second Half Collapse Against Fresno State

Fresno State crawled back to within four before going over two minutes without scoring. Utah State extended their lead nearly back to double digits with under 14 minutes remaining in the game.

At the under 12 media timeout, Utah State had a 38-34 lead and was scoreless through the last 2:54 with three turnovers. That drought helped Fresno State take the lead. They were up by five with three minutes to play.

Utah State cut the deficit to one with under two minutes remaining. Fresno State knocked down a three to make it a two-possession game with less than one minute to play.

The Aggies dropped their record to 10-8 overall and 1-4 in Mountain West play. They will return to the Spectrum on Thursday, January 20 to play Boise State at 7 p.m. MT on The Zone Sports Network.

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