Utah State beats Wyoming 72-59 in final home game of season

Utah State forward Alphonso Anderson (10) and forward Justin Bean (34) waves to the crowd after an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, March 4, 2021, in Logan, Utah. (Eli Lucero/The Herald Journal via AP, Pool)

LOGAN, Utah – Utah State closed out the home portion of its schedule with a 72-59 victory over Wyoming on Thursday night at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.

A pair of Aggies recorded double-doubles during the game as junior forward Justin Bean led all scorers with 21 points, to go along with 10 rebounds, while junior center Neemias Queta added 14 points and a game-best 13 rebounds. Queta also had five blocks, two assists and one steal in 31 minutes of work.

Queta and Bean have logged double-doubles in each of the last five and three games, respectively. Freshman guard Steven Ashworth added 13 points, three rebounds and three assists off the bench for Utah State (17-7, 14-4 Mountain West).

Hunter Maldonado led the way for the Cowboys (12-10, 6-9 MW) with 14 points and eight rebounds, Xavier DuSell chipped in 12 points and Hunter Thompson notched a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds. Wyoming’s leading scorer Marcus Williams (15.9 ppg) was held to just four points on 2-of-8 shooting from the floor behind a staunch defensive effort by Utah State redshirt junior guard Marco Anthony.

With Brock Miller sidelined due to injury – the junior guard had played in 92 consecutive games for the Aggies – Utah State struggled to find its rhythm from the outside in the early going. Utah State started out 0-for-10 from beyond the arc as the Cowboys baited USU shooters to attempt shots from long range and found itself trailing Wyoming 19-12 at the midway point of the first half.

However, the Aggies started chipping away and pared the deficit to 22-20 when Ashworth made the team’s first 3-pointer of the night at the 8:02 mark. Exactly one minute later, Ashworth tied it at 22-all on a jumper.

Maldonado tied it at 27-all with 4:30 to go, but Utah State closed the half on an 11-8 run to take a 38-35 lead at the break.

The Cowboys hung around for a while in the second half, and were only down 50-45 with 11:42 to go, when the Aggies used a 14-5 run to break it open. Utah State led by as many as 18 points in the second half.

The Aggies distributed the ball well on the night as seven of the eight players that checked into the game had at least two assists, including a game-high six dimes from freshman guard Rollie Worster. Utah State had 20 helpers on 30 made baskets.

USU shot 45.5 percent from the field (30-of-66), including 30.0 percent from 3-point range (6-of-20), and 60.0 percent from the charity stripe (6-of-10). The Aggies outrebounded the Cowboys 42-33 and outscored the visitors in the paint 38-22.

Wyoming shot 37.5 percent on the night (21-of-56), including 29.0 percent from beyond the arc (9-of-31), and 66.7 percent from the free throw line (8-of-12). The Aggies’ perimeter defense was much better in the second half as they limited the Cowboys to 1-of-14 shooting from 3-point range (7.1 percent).

Utah State returns to action on Saturday, March 6, when the Aggies close out the regular season against Fresno State at the Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif. The game, which will be televised on Fox Sports 1 (Xfinity Ch. 265/HD691, DirecTV Ch. 219, DISH Ch. 150), is slated to begin at 9 p.m. (MT).

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