Funk’s 20 lead Utah State past UNLV 75-71

The Aggies get their 15th win of the season.

(Eli Lucero/The Herald Journal via AP) Utah State forward Taylor Funk (23) celebrates after making a 3-pointer against UNLV during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023, in Logan, Utah.

Logan • Taylor Funk had 20 points in Utah State’s 75-71 victory against UNLV on Tuesday night.

Funk added six rebounds and five assists for the Aggies (15-4, 4-2 Mountain West Conference).

“It was like a video game out there. It’s so much fun just watching him shoot it like it was a workout. We just pushed the ball thinking the entire time ‘where’s Taylor?’ He was hitting and it was huge for us in the first half to get us off to the start that we needed,” USU’s Steven Ashworth said. “We knew that they were a team that was really physical and could go on their runs. I think that was massive in the first half to have a performance like that to kind of get us all settled in and ready for the battle that we were a part of.”

Ashworth scored 14 points while going 5 of 14 (3 for 10 from distance), and added five rebounds and nine assists. Trevin Dorius recorded 10 points.

Keyshawn Hall led the way for the Rebels (12-6, 1-5) with 19 points. Jordan McCabe added 17 points and two steals for UNLV. Keshon Gilbert also recorded 14 points, five assists and three steals.

Max Shulga led Utah State with nine points in the second half as his team was outscored by five points over the final half but hung on for the victory.

“I think that in previous circumstances, we didn’t navigate it. As recent as last game, we didn’t navigate it the way that we wanted to,” Ashworth said “So we watched film and we had the hard talks. It’s never easy to watch something like that. I think by going through it before, we were able to learn for this game. Obviously in that second half, there were way too many turnovers. I felt like myself was a big part of that in the second half, some of them very uncharacteristic, I believe. I think from there, the biggest point is then communicating and making sure we’re staying together and keeping our confidence as a team. We know how great we are and we know that we can have that second half gene, you might say.”

Utah State hosts San Jose State on Saturday.