LOGAN, Utah (AP) — Great Osobor tallied 20 points and 12 rebounds to lead no. 16 Utah State to a 83-62 victory over Fresno State on Saturday.
Ian Martinez chipped in 14 points and a career-high six assists to help the Aggies (17-2, 5-1 Mountain West) bounce back from a 99-86 loss at New Mexico on Tuesday. Josh Uduje added 12 points and Darius Brown II tallied 11. Utah State shot 55% from the field and outrebounded Fresno State 40-25.
The Aggies made a point of being more physical than in their loss to the Lobos and were pleased with the results.
“We had to be tougher,” Martinez said. “We had to go out there and give the first punch. Be the aggressors. The aggressors always win.”
Isaiah Pope led the Bulldogs with 16 points. Donavan Yap Jr. had 12 points and Eduardo Andre added 11. Isaiah Hill chipped in a game-high 10 assists. Fresno State (8-10, 1-4) lost for the sixth time in eight games after giving up 18 points off 13 turnovers.
“Certainly, 13 turnovers is too many,” Bulldogs acting coach Keith Brown said. “But the conversion off turnovers is a problem, too, and it always puts pressure on your defense. They converted at a high level, certainly higher than what we would have liked.”
Osobor went 7-of-7 from the field and tallied 18 points in the first half.
He hyperextended his knee against the Lobos and was limited in two straight practices ahead of the game. The junior forward wasn’t at full strength on Saturday and played through pain.
“I knew he’d play,” Utah State coach Danny Sprinkle said. “I didn’t know how effective he’d be.”
Osobor didn’t let an injured knee slow him down from imposing his will.
Three of his baskets helped fuel an 18-6 run that gave Utah State a double-digit lead late in the first half. Fresno State had tied the game with four straight baskets punctuated by Yap’s tying layup. Martinez answered with a four-point play to ignite the run. Osobor kept things going with his three baskets, culminating in a 3-point play that put the Aggies up 32-20.
“When he’s aggressive, the rest of our team becomes aggressive, too,” Sprinkle said.
Trailing by 13 at halftime, Fresno State opened the second half with a 10-1 run fueled by back-to-back baskets from Pope. Yap capped the run with a corner three that trimmed Utah State’s lead to 41-37. The Aggies opened the door for a rally by missing seven of nine shots and committing four turnovers in a six-minute stretch.
“We made a defensive change at halftime, and I think it took them a few possessions to get adjusted to it,” Brown said.
The Bulldogs were unable to draw closer. Isaac Johnson hit a pair of free throws and Martinez followed with a layup to stretch Utah State’s lead to 49-39. From there, the Aggies maintained a double-digit advantage over the final 10 minutes. Brown scored three baskets during a 10-0 run to put Utah State up 73-51 with 3:52 left.
Fresno State lost to an AP Top 25 opponent for the third time this season. The Bulldogs dropped all three games by double-digit margins.
Utah State overcame some early second-half sloppiness on offense to remain undefeated at home this season. The Aggies improved to 15-1 when scoring at least 70 points this season.
Fresno State: Hosts Boise State on Tuesday night.
Utah State: Visits Boise State on Saturday.
AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball