SAN DIEGO (ABC4 Sports) – The Utah State basketball team’s unbeaten run to start this season continues, but just barely.
In their first road test of the year, the Aggies trailed for the majority of the non-conference contest against San Diego, but still found a way to win.
Steven Ashworth knocked down a jumper from the right wing with four seconds remaining in overtime to lift Utah State to a thrilling 91-89 victory over San Diego on Thursday night at the Jenny Craig Pavilion.
The game wasn’t cemented, though, until the Toreros’ Sigu Sisoho Jawara missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
With the win, Utah State improved to 3-0 all-time against USD. This was the first meeting between the two teams in San Diego, and the first since Dec. 29, 1999, when the Aggies notched a 68-65 home win over the Toreros in overtime.
Ashworth was one of four Aggies (4-0) to score in double figures as he finished with 10, to go along with a career-high nine assists and four rebounds. Dan Akin led USU with 21 points off the bench, while Taylor Funk and Max Shulga chipped in 20 points apiece.
Eric Williams Jr. poured in a game-high 43 points for San Diego (3-1). He also grabbed a game-best 13 rebounds.
A 3-pointer by Funk gave Utah State a 69-64 lead with 4:34 to go in the game, but USD used a 7-2 run to pull even at 71-apiece with 1:49 left.
The Aggies regained the lead less than 30 seconds later when Funk hit another 3-pointer, and it appeared as if USU was going to win it in regulation when it opened a 76-72 advantage with 35 seconds to go.
However, Williams sent the game into overtime tied at 78-apiece when he nailed a 3-ball with three seconds left. The Aggies were unable to get a shot off during their final possession of regulation.
The Toreros led 84-80 with 2:46 remaining in overtime, but the Aggies fought back and took an 89-86 lead with 37 seconds to go on a Funk 3-pointer. USD tied it at 89-all with 17 seconds left, setting up Ashworth’s final heroics.
San Diego led by as many as nine in the first half, but Shulga hit a 3-pointer with 48 seconds left until intermission to pull Utah State to within 31-30 at the break.
The Aggies, who dished out 21 assists, ended the night shooting 51.7 percent (31-of-60) from the field, including 48.3 percent from beyond the arc (14-of-29), and 57.7 percent from the free throw line (15-of-26.).
San Diego shot 41.3 percent from the floor (31-of-75), including 46.4 percent from beyond the arc (13-of-28), and 73.7 percent from the charity stripe (14-of-19).
The Aggies open a two-game homestand on Tuesday, Nov. 22, at 7 p.m., when Utah State welcomes Oral Roberts (2-2) to the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.