LOGAN, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – Utah State is trying to get off the bubble and into the NCAA Tournament. Saturday night’s performance will certainly help.
Taylor Funk had 24 points in Utah State’s 86-73 win over Boise State on Saturday night as the Aggies rolled to its fifth straight win.
Funk also added eight rebounds for the Aggies (24-7, 13-5 Mountain West Conference). Steven Ashworth scored 19 points and added eight assists and four steals. Daniel Akin shot 4 of 5 from the field and 6 for 6 from the line to finish with 14 points.
“Really proud of the guys,” said head coach Ryan Odom. “Obviously, a lot of pressure for both teams for this game. Boise, obviously, coming off a huge win at home against what we know is a great San Diego State team and having to turn around and come up here to Logan to play. Obviously, we played UNLV and that was a great win for us and then you come to finish it out on senior night.”
Chibuzo Agbo finished with 18 points for the Broncos (23-8, 13-5). Boise State also got 14 points and six rebounds from Tyson Degenhart. In addition, Marcus Shaver Jr. finished with 13 points, seven rebounds, five assists and two steals.
Utah State took the lead with 16:09 left in the first half and did not give it up. Funk led his team in scoring with 15 points in the first half to help put them up 47-33 at the break. Utah State was outscored by Boise State in the second half by one point, with Funk scoring a team-high nine points after halftime.
“It’s definitely been a senior night to remember,” Funk said. “Unfortunately, last year I had a senior night at St. Joe’s but I had retorn a ligament in my thumb so I had to miss that. So it was really cool to be actually get to play on a senior night tonight. We just kind of were doing our thing our there tonight. Shots were going down for us all. This team, we found something real special these last couple games on the defensive end. That’s kind of where it all started and it carried on over to the offense like it normally does.”
“I think our guys responded immediately at the beginning of the game against a really good Boise team,” said Odom. “They’re an excellent program and extremely well-coached. They really challenge you and they have the 10th-ranked defense in the country. It’s really hard to score on them and it’s really hard to keep them from scoring. They have interchangeable parts throughout their roster and they’ve had a great season. I think in this particular game with the way that our guys played, we got off to a good start and we played really hard. Excited about the win and we’ll put it to bed and get ready for the conference tournament.”
The Aggies will enter the Mountain West Conference Tournament next week in Las Vegas as the third seed, and will face either New Mexico or Wyoming Thursday at 9:30 p.m.