by Daniel Olsen
Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson scheduled make up games that may have put the possibility of three conference teams in the NCAA tournament in doubt. While some teams might risk losing games to inferior teams, the Aggies refuse to make excuses. With a final score of 72-59, Utah State notched their sixth win in as many tries over the Cowboys in the Craig Smith era.
While the Aggies started off slow, their defense carried them to this win. They missed their first ten three-point attempts as their shots couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn early on. Freshman Steven Ashworth finally broke the cold spell with a three off the bench.
With Brock Miller sidelined, the starters combined for one of eight from downtown. On the bright side, freshman Rollie Worster returned back from injury and gave the Aggies eight points and a game high six assists. He made one of his two three-point attempts. As a team, the Aggies finished the game with 30 percent from beyond the arc. This was due to stellar outside shooting from the bench.
Justin Bean and Neemias Queta once again brought the double-double show to Logan. It was the second straight for Bean and the fourth straight for Queta. Bean had a team high 21 points and 14 rebounds. Queta had a team high 13 rebounds with 14 points.
Freshman Matt Shulga was thrust into the rotation which was important for him. He didn’t start getting many minutes until the Nevada games last week. He made the best of his time. He finished the night with eight points in ten minutes. He stepped up for the team as they were already short-handed.
Big Blue Minute
• In a bracket of best shoes on the USU basketball team, Steven Ashworth won the night. His fluorescent yellow kicks were the conversation of the night during and after the broadcast.
• The Aggies end the season with a 10-2 record at home. While that is good, it is the most home losses they have ever had in a season under Craig Smith.
• The Aggies were 29-2 at home going into this year under Smith. They are now 41-4 with a winning percentage of over 90 percent.
• Queta now has 707 rebounds which was good for 12th all time in Aggie history. He needs just 15 more to pass Nate Harris and crack the top ten.
• In just his third season, Queta has 188 career blocks which is 38 more than the second best Aggie.
• Queta has 11 double-doubles on the season while Bean has 6.
• Bean has a career 22 double-doubles while Queta has 25. Jon Rothstein, college basketball insider for CBS Sports, had high praise to say about this dynamic duo following the win.
Featured image via Eli Lucero/The Herald Journal via AP, Pool