Balanced Utah State tops WSU Cougars 82-73 in Hawaii

Dec 25, 2022, 6:01 PM | Updated: 6:22 pm
WSU Kyle Smith...
WSU coach Kyle Smith during a Diamond Head Classic game on Dec. 23, 2022 in Honolulu, Hawaii. (Photo by Darryl Oumi/Getty Images)
(Photo by Darryl Oumi/Getty Images)

HONOLULU (AP) — Steve Ashworth was perfect from long distance, making three of Utah State’s 11 3-pointers, and scored 12 points in a balanced attack that led the Aggies to an 82-73 win over WSU in the third-place game of the Diamond Head Classic on Sunday.

Utah State 82, WSU 73: Box score

Utah State was 11-17 behind the arc (65%) and 32-53 overall (60%), both numbers better than the Aggies managed from the foul line, where they were 7 of 15.

Taylor Funk and Trevin Dorius also had 12 points apiece for the Aggies (11-2), Sean Bairstow and Max Shulga each had 11 and Dan Akin was 5-for-5 shooting and added 10 points.

Mouhamed Gueye scored 22 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for the Cougars (5-8), while TJ Bomba was 10 of 12 from the foul line and scored 19 points. Justin Powell added 10 points.

Washington State was 2 of 17 (12%) from 3-point range and shot 24 of 54 (48%) overall but was 23 of 26 from the foul line.

Utah State was 7-of-11 shooting from long range in the first half with five different players connection, to take a 42-29 lead. The Cougars missed all seven of their long shots.

A three-point play by Andrej Jakimovski and a layup by Carlos Rosario on the next possession had Washington State within 50-41 but that was the only time the difference was in single digits in the second half until Bomba scored at the buzzer to cap a 7-0 WSU finish.

The difference was 10 until Utah State went on a 12-0 run in the middle of the second half, Ashworth hitting at jumper at 9:34 to make it 73-51. Ashworth hit a 3 on the next possession for the big lead of the game, 76-53, with 8:48 to play. WSU answered with a 9-0 before the closing burst.

WSU returns to Pac-12 play on Friday when No. 13 UCLA visits Pullman. Utah State starts Mountain West play on New Year’s Eve day when Fresno State visits.

Friday: WSU falls to Hawaii 62-51 in semis of Diamond Head Classic


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