FRESNO, Calif. (ABC4 Sports) – Even after holding Fresno State without a field goal for 12 minutes, and after building a 16-point first half lead, Utah State could not put the Bulldogs away.
Orlando Robinson had 11 points, 13 rebounds and six assists as Fresno State rallied to beat Utah State 61-54 Tuesday night at the Save Mart Center.
Deon Stroud led the Bulldogs (13-4, 3-1 MW), who improved to 9-0 at home, with 14 points, while Anthony Holland added 13.
Sean Bairstow had 12 points, and career highs of six rebounds and five assists for Utah State (10-8, 1-4), which had its six-game winning streak against Fresno State snapped. Utah State has now lost three straight games.
Justin Bean was the only other Aggie to score in double figures as he had 10 points, to go along with three steals and two rebounds. Trevin Dorius led Utah State, which was outrebounded 31-28, with eight boards.
The Aggies scored eight of the first 10 points of the game, but the Bulldogs squared the game at 8-apiece on a 3-pointer by Jordan Campbell with 13:48 remaining in the first half.
That was the last field goal Fresno State made until the 1:37 mark of the half.
Bairstow knocked down a jumper to give Utah State a 10-8 lead with 13:18 to go and ignite a 13-0 run. The Bulldogs ending their scoring drought when Stroud made a pair of free throws with 8:42 left in the half, making it 21-10 in the process.
A dunk by Dorius spearheaded another run for the Aggies, this time 8-3, that helped them open their largest lead of the night, 29-13 with 3:45 to go until halftime.
Fresno State gained some momentum when it closed the first half on an 8-2 run to pull within 31-21 at the break. That run continued after the break as the Bulldogs opened the second half on a 20-9 spurt, capped by a Stroud 3-pointer that gave the hosts a 41-40 lead – their first of the game – with 9:15 to go.
A Dorius dunk gave Utah State its final lead, 44-43, with 7:05 to go. Fresno State moved in front to stay when Holland sank two free throws to make it 45-44 with 6:21 left.
The Aggies shot 46.8 percent from the field (22-of-47), but just 16.7 percent from 3-point range (2-of-12), and 61.5 percent from the free throw line (8-of-13). Utah State had just nine assists and 15 turnovers.
Fresno State shot 39.1 percent from the field (18-of-46), including 35.0 percent from beyond the arc (7-of-20), and 90.0 percent from the charity stripe (18-of-20).
Utah State is back at home on Thursday, Jan. 20, at 7 p.m., when the Aggies welcome Boise State to the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. The game was originally scheduled for Jan. 4, but postponed due to COVID protocols within the Broncos’ program.