Brock Miller returns, Utah State gets confidence-boosting win over New Mexico

Utah State ahead Justin Bean (34) celebrates after making a three-point basket through the second half of an NCAA faculty basketball sport towards Nevada, Friday, Feb. 26, 2021, in Logan, Utah. (Eli Lucero, Related Press)

Estimated learn time: 4-5 minutes

LOGAN — In faculty basketball, you are more likely to rating extra baskets towards groups ranked 245th nationally in protection than towards groups within the prime 20.

On Tuesday evening, Utah State basketball realized that the simple manner.

After back-to-back losses towards San Diego State and Boise State, each of whom are within the prime 15 within the KenPom.com adjusted defensive effectivity metric, the Aggies offense launched its frustration on New Mexico.

The Lobos bit on pump fakes and rotated poorly, whereas Utah State had the bodily edge and moved the ball successfully to shot 52.5% from the sector and 36.4% from 3-point vary. Justin Bean had a game-high 21 factors and Brandon Horvath added 19 factors as Utah State snapped a four-game shedding streak with an 81-56 win.

“It is nice to get a win for our guys,” Utah State head coach Ryan Odom stated. “, we had a tricky stretch. Clearly shedding 4 in a row is de facto onerous for our guys.

“Offensively, I believed our guys did a very nice job. , passing the ball tonight, I believe our guys had been spaced lots higher and had been extra assured.”

Maybe aiding the workforce’s confidence degree was Brock Miller. The senior guard, who has been out with a chronic again damage, performed for the primary time since Dec. 29 towards Air Power.

Miller logged 12 minutes of motion and completed 1 of three from the sector with 3 factors. However the loudest second of the sport got here within the second half when Miller buried a nook 3-ball to present the Aggies a 53-28 lead with 14:04 remaining within the sport. The Sandy native, who was visibly amped up, waved his palms within the air towards the coed part in celebration.

“Oh man, that was unbelievable,” Miller stated. “I am actually humbled with simply the chance to have been given to play. , when it is taken away from you slightly bit from dangerous well being, you understand how nice it’s to be on the market.”

Bean stated he is “positively bought to present Brock a shout out for that 3-pointer. That was most likely the loudest this area has gotten, you understand, all yr. In order that was thrilling for him to get his groove again and get again on the market.”

It was a much-needed second for Miller, and a much-needed sport for the Aggies.

For the previous two weeks, Utah State dipped right into a lull through the roller-coaster trip of a season. Three street losses towards a workforce from the highest of the convention and a letdown at residence towards Nevada have all however eradicated the Aggies’ NCAA Event aspirations.

Regardless of an at-large bid out of the query, Utah State belives their efficiency towards the Lobos confirmed they’re simply as engaged as ever.

“We simply did not get complacent. We did not look down on ourselves after these 4 losses,” Bean stated. “We simply know what we’re able to; and win or lose, we all know we will play with anybody on this league. And so we did a great job simply being assured in that and trusting one another.”

The arrogance was exhibited proper from the get-go; Utah State opened the sport an ideal 8 of 8 from the sector to leap out to a 20-7 lead 5 minutes into the sport.

Ashworth hit two 3-pointers, Bean had a fast-break, one-handed dunk, and Bairstow had a midrange turnaround. Bairstow completed with 12 factors and 4 assists, and a poster dunk of his gave Utah State a 26-11 lead with eight minutes left within the half.

“I believed Shawn had a very nice sport,” Odom stated. “It was good to get him again on the market taking part in like himself.”

Defensively, Utah State introduced it, as nicely, towards the Lobos.

All through the sport, Jaelen Home, who averages 17 factors per sport, was simply 1 of 8 from the sector with 2 factors. The Lobos, who’re No. 1 within the Mountain West in 3-point proportion, went simply 5 of 17 from past the arc.

“We want our protection to guide us to victory,” Odom stated. “And I believed, general, there have been stretches the place we guarded actually, very well.”

Utah State led 38-21 on the half and stored tempo within the second. Bairstow opened the sport up with a layup, and Horvath scored 10 factors in seven minutes to present the Aggies a 25-point lead.

“It was good to have the ability to simply shut that hole and simply not allow them to get again within the sport,” Bean stated.

Utah State returns to the courtroom for senior evening on Saturday towards Colorado State.

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