LOGAN, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – It wasn’t the sendoff Utah State envisioned for its four seniors.
Playing in his final home game, Justin Bean recorded his 18th double-double of the season and the 44th of his career, but Colorado State spoiled Utah State’s Senior Night with a 66-55 victory in front of 9,219 fans Saturday night at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
Bean finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds, as his 18 double-doubles rank third all-time in a single season in USU history, tying Marvin Roberts (1970-71) and Shaler Halimon (1967-68).
Bean, along with fellow senior guard Brock Miller, and grad transfers Brandon Horvath and RJ Eytle-Rock, where honored prior to the game. All four players started the contest and combined for 38 of the team’s 55 points.
Eytle-Rock led Utah State (16-14, 7-10 Mountain West) with 14 points, while Horvath had 11 and Miller finished with three.
“Rough night for us,” Utah State head coach Ryan Odom said. “Fun start to the night honoring those four guys. It was great to see their families out there, and all of our Aggie fans supporting them. That was a neat moment to hear those guys talk about their experience. Two guys have been here a long time, and the other two kind of adopted this place. Just appreciative, first and foremost, the opportunity to coach those guys.”
Colorado State’s Kendle Moore led all scorers in the game with 23 points, to go along with six rebounds. David Roddy chipped in 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Rams (23-4, 13-4 MW).
Utah State found itself down 11-4 in the early going after opening the game shooting 1-for-7 from the field, to go along with two turnovers.
“It was a really competitive game,” Bean said. “Obviously, the atmosphere was awesome. It was electric and we knew it would be. I think I looked up and saw the attendance was 9,200, which is awesome. Can’t thank the fans enough, I’ve said it again and again, and I’ll keep saying it for as long as I watch an Aggie game or play in an Aggie game, and that’s just amazing. I thought, as far as the game goes, we came up short. Didn’t make shots.”
Despite the slow start, and trailing by as many as a dozen in the first half, the Aggies chipped away and pared the deficit to 30-24 by the break.
Miller opened the second half for the Aggies by knocking down his only basket of the night, a 3-pointer that cut the deficit to 30-27 and ignited a 10-3 run for the hosts that gave them their first lead of the contest at 34-33 with 17:52 remaining in the game.
Utah State led 41-37 with 10:23 to go, but the Rams turned the tide with a 12-0 run and never relinquished the lead after that. The Aggies got within two on one occasion, but could never fully erase the deficit.
The Aggies certainly had their chances to regain the lead, but could not overcome their struggles from the free throw line. Utah State shot just 33.3 percent from the charity stripe (6-of-18), to go along with 41.2 percent clip from the field (21-of-51), including just 28.0 percent from beyond the arc (7-of-25).
Conversely, Colorado State shot 44.2 percent from the field for the game (23-of-52), including 45.0 percent from beyond the arc (9-of-20), and 68.8 percent from the free throw line (11-of-16).
Utah State concludes the regular season on the road at San José State on Friday, March 4, at 9 p.m.