FRESNO, Calif. (ABC4 Sports) – Dan Akin poured in a season-high 23 points, Steven Ashworth had 14 points, six rebounds and six assists, and Utah State cruised to a 70-53 victory over Fresno State on Saturday night.
After a back-and-forth affair over the game’s first 10 minutes, Akin scored six-straight points for the Aggies, converting a dunk, layup and two free throws to capture a lead Utah State would never relinquish. The Bulldogs trimmed USU’s advantage to a single point late in the first half before Ashworth buried a trey and two FTs to send Utah State into halftime with a 34-28 advantage.
The Aggies kept their foot on the gas, building on their close to the half for a 14-3 run spanning into the second frame. USU held Fresno State to only 12 points across over 10 minutes of the second half, all but quashing the notion of a Bulldog comeback. In the closing minutes, Akin also buried a 3-pointer, the first of his career, which pushed USU’s lead over 20 points. Utah State shot 10-for-11 from the FT line in the second half, part of an 18-for-20 showing for the game, to further seal the road victory.
Akin added eight rebounds and a season-high three blocks in the outing. Sean Bairstow finished with nine points and eight rebounds, and was a game-high +18 while on the court. Taylor Funk chipped in with nine points.
The Aggies shot 46.0 percent (23-for-50) from the field and 33.3 percent (6-for-18) on 3-point attempts, meanwhile holding the Bulldogs to 34.5 percent (19-for-55) and 30.4 percent (7-for-23) from the field and 3-point territory, respectively. USU also dominated the boards, outrebounding Fresno State, 41-24, and outscoring them, 16-6, on second-chance opportunities.
In completing the season sweep of the Bulldogs, Utah State has now won eight of the past nine matchups against Fresno State and lead the all-time series between the two schools, 43-26.
Utah State (17-5, 6-3 MW) returns to the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum on Wednesday, Feb. 1, at 8:30 p.m. (MT) to host New Mexico (19-3, 6-3 MW).