Three Aggies score at least 20 points en route to 95-80 victory in Ogden
Koby McEwen’s 26 points for Weber State set up a perfect game of revenge against Wyoming, his former team, but the Wildcats couldn’t hold out against the onslaught the Aggies brought to Ogden.
USU scored a season-high 95, winning Wednesday night 95-80 over Weber State.
Wyoming wasted no time in starting the fireworks, scoring 10-0 in the first three minutes of the game. Senior Brock Miller, who made the first six shots of the night, made a triple and mid-range jump in the first minute to secure the first five points for the Aggies.
Steven Ashworth, USU’s sophomore year, said the run “set the tone” for the game.
After that first run, Weber State never came closer than seven points for the rest of the run despite a solid offensive night. The Wildcats had previously been 6-0 having scored at least 80 points this season, but in those competitions, their opponents never scored more than 74. Wyoming passed that mark with 10:08 remaining. back in the game.
The Three Aggies scored at least 20 points, the best of the season for head coach Ryan Odom’s team. Steven Ashworth leads with a career-high 27 points, followed by Miller and Brandon Horvath with 20 points each. Ashworth hit 7 to 11 from a 3-point range, becoming the fourth Aggie in the past decade to make seven in one outing.
Horvath dominated the paint all night, adding 14 rebounds to his 20 points. And although the 6-foot-10 senior has shot 52% of 3-pointers this season at night, all of his points have come in the arc or at the free-throw line.
“They switched every screen and so we started rolling (Horvath) into the basket,” Odom said. “He’s got a couple of mismatches in there and he’s free.”
“Brandon was an important key to us,” said Ashworth. “He is very good at reading results, (knowing) whether he should shoot, whether he should drive or not. He did it at a high level tonight again. It’s always fun to play with a guy like Brandon who can stretch the ring and also dominate low when needed. ”
At halftime, Utah State led 59-44, 59 points the most in the opening half since 2019 but Odom still has a lot to say for his team. He has nothing to criticize on offense but would like to see more of his defense. Weber State took 51.6% of its shots in the first half, including 7 of 14 triples. The 44 points allowed is the second most allowed by USU for the first half of the year (second out of 45 allowed at BYU).
“We challenged the guys at halftime not to give them a lot of permissive looks and force them to come home a little later and help out a little bit more and have a little better understanding of personnel, ‘ said Odom.
The defense improved, not to an elite level, but enough to allow for an easy second half. The Wildcats only shot 38.7% in the second half overall. McEwen in particular struggled in the second half despite a very strong first half. Ashworth defended McEwen for much of the game and admitted that he “leaved McEwen too many points open for three” in the first half and that he did it on his own.
McEwen scored 19 goals in the first half when he shot 6 to 8 but in the second half he shot 2/8 off the field (0 to 5 from three) with just seven points.
“I could have done a better job defensively in the second half,” said Ashworth.
McEwen, the current top scorer for the Wildcats during the season (15.6 points per game), played his first two seasons at USU before moving to Marquette and then Weber State. He last matched with the Aggies five seasons ago, but there are still three players on USU’s current roster who can recall sharing the pitch with McEwen at Logan. Seniors Justin Bean and Miller were both freshmen in 2017-18 (McEwen’s final year with USU) and juniors Trevin Dorius wore red in Wyoming in 2016-17 before setting off on an LDS mission. .
The Aggies were able to steer the Wildcats out of their own building despite limited access to two of its original players, Bean and Rylan Jones. Bean, who led the team in points (21.1) and bounce (11.6) played just 21 minutes and made just five shots. Jones played only 25 minutes and left the game in the second half after hitting his head on the ground. Jones has seven points and six assists in his time, Bean has just two points and three rebounds.
After the game, Odom said “he looks fine right now”, adding that they will have to wait and see if the injury lasts. He also said Bean had sprained his ankle, which affected the minutes he played.
A quick turnaround awaits Wyoming as it will travel to Sioux Falls, SD, to face Iowa on Saturday. The Hawkeyes are 7-3 in the season. Two of those losses went to teams currently in the Top 25, No. 3 Purdue (77-70) and No. 11 Iowa State (73-53).
https://www.sltrib.com/sports/utah-state-sports/2021/12/15/former-aggie-star-koby/ Former Aggie star Koby McEwen scored 26, but Wyoming got a W more than Weber