Darius Brown II Lifts No. 22 Utah State To Ragged Win Over Fresno State

Feb 27, 2024, 10:22 PM

utah state darius brown II

LOGAN, Utah – Nothing comes easy on the road in the Mountain West as Utah State needed overtime to survive upset-minded Fresno State. Darius Brown II hit a late three to force overtime, then knocked down the eventual game-winner in the extra session.

No. 22 USU (23-5, 11-4) outlasted the Bulldogs (11-17, 4-11) for a 77-73 win. The Aggies continue to lead the Mountain West with three games left in the regular season.

RELATED: Utah State Vaults Into Top 25

Brown II got going late to finish with 15 points, 11 rebounds, and six assists. Great Osobor led all scorers with 21 points and 11 rebounds. Mason Falslev and Josh Uduje added 15 points each.

Four Bulldogs finished with double-figure points, led by 21 from Isaiah Hill. Xavier DuSell added 16 points in the loss.

First Half

Fresh off of being named to the Oscar Robertson Award watch list, Aggie’s leading scorer, Great Osobor, went to work early in the post. Osobor knocked down his first four shots to help his team take an 11-8 lead into the first timeout.

Bovine Blog: Great Osobor Named To Pair Of Postseason Watch Lists

Seven unanswered points forced Fresno State to take a timeout after missing seven of eight shots. USU led 16-8 with 12:15 left in the half.

Utah State then lost all offensive momentum, going scoreless for nearly five minutes. USU held the lead as the Bulldog’s offense went without a bucket for more than four minutes on the other end. Fresno State missed 16 of its first 20 shots.

Josh Uduje hit a three to snap an almost eight-minute scoreless streak and give his team a 19-16 lead.

Utah State overcame nine first-half turnovers to hold a 30-25 lead. Three Aggies scored in the half, led by Osobor’s 14 on 6-of-7 from the field.

Second Half

Fresno State came out of the break with renewed energy, cutting the deficit to two points at the first media timeout.

Bovine Blog: USU Sweeps Mountain West Weekly Awards

The Aggie offense finally got on track with a three from Isaac Johnson, followed by an Osobor. Utah State fans collectively held their breath when the Mountain West Player of the Year candidate limped to the bench. The Bradford, England native went to the bench, where trainers began working on his lower left leg.

With Osobor out of the game, Isaiah Hill hit a corner three as the Bulldogs used a six-point run to force an Aggie timeout with 12:15 to play.

Osobor returned following the timeout, with USU leading 47-45.

Fresno State took its first lead at the nine-minute mark when Xavier DuSell got to the basket to go in front 51-49. The layup capped a 12-2 Bulldog run as the Aggie offense ran dry.

The defense kept Utah State within striking distance in the final minutes. After forcing a miss, Darius Brown II grabbed the rebound and found Mason Falslev streaking to the basket. Falslev made one of two free throws after getting fouled to make it 63-62 Fresno State.

After Xavier DuSell hit two free throws, Brown banked home a circus three to force overtime tied at 65.

Overtime

Josh Uduje scored four quick points as Utah State took a 73-71 lead.

After an Isaiah Pope layup, Brown answered on the other end with a three to give the Aggies a 76-73 lead with 34 seconds left.

Utah State managed to hold on for the 77-73 win.

Following USU With KSL Sports Zone

No. 22 Utah State welcomes the Air Force Falcons (9-17, 2-12) into the Spectrum on Friday, March 1. Tip-off is at 9 p.m. MT. USU is 26-7 all-time against the Falcons and come into this game with five straight wins in the series. The Aggies beat Air Force 88-60 on the road to open Mountain West play in early January.

Listen to USU basketball games on KSL Sports Zone with Scott Garrard on the call.

Find KSL Sports coverage of Utah State University Athletics here.

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Brian Preece is a KSLsports.com insider covering the Utah State Aggies, Locals in MLB, and Salt Lake Bees. Follow Brian’s Bees, Beehive baseball, and Aggie athletics coverage here.

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Darius Brown II Lifts No. 22 Utah State To Ragged Win Over Fresno State