LOGAN, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – Alex Ducas made two free throws with .9 seconds left on the clock, as St. Mary’s pulled off a thrilling 60-58 victory over Utah State Thursday night at The Spectrum.
Tied at 58, Rylan Jones missed a potential game-winning three-pointer, and Justin Bean fouled Ducas fighting for the rebound.
Utah State fans booed the call loudly, as Ducas calmly sank both free throws for the win.
“Obviously a bitter, bitter loss for us,” said head coach Ryan Odom. “Tough loss. Hard way to end the game. There’s no really shying away from that. Disappointed locker room, but not broken. Very quiet locker room, but a locker room that has grit, has toughness, has a love for one another, a connectivity that is unique. When you have a team like that, you can recover from disappointment.”
Bean led the Aggies with 19 points and 10 rebounds, while Steven Ashworth had 12 points off the bench. No other Utah State player scored in double figures, as the Aggies shot just 37.7 percent from the floor, including a season-low 20 percent (3 for 15) from three-point range.
“It’s one of those games in college basketball that, I for one looked forward to,” Bean said. “I know some people on Twitter did, and it was fun to see Aggie Nation back our support, just a great game, great atmosphere. It was a great, great atmosphere like I said, couldn’t say enough great things about the fans, they really came through tonight. The biggest thing is you want to win for them. You want to win those close games, those hard-fought games with those kinds of atmospheres because they deserve it and that’s probably the most heartbreaking thing about this loss for me just not being able to deliver for them.”
Ducas led the Gaels (7-1) with 13 points, while Mattias Tass and Tommy Kuhse each had 10 points.
Utah State (6-2) scored a season-low 58 points as its six-game winning streak came to an end.
In a defensive battle, both teams combined for 31 turnovers. Utah State could not take advantage in the first half as St. Mary’s missed all 12 of its three-pointers, leading by just for at the break, 20-16 at the half.
“All week, we were all preparing for the last minutes of the game,” Ashworth said. “We knew that this game was going to be a stop-and-score type of game.”
Utah State got out-rebounded (33-31) for the first time in 47 games dating back to the 2019-2020 season when San Diego State had a 31-28 advantage on the boards against USU.
The Aggies next play at BYU December 8th at the Marriott Center in Provo.