COLORADO SPRINGS – Utah State men’s basketball shot a season-high 52.3 percent (34-of-65), knocked down a season-high 12 3-point field goals and turned 26 Air Force turnovers into 45 points en route to an 83-48 victory against the Falcons on Thursday afternoon. The result moves the Aggies to 6-3 overall and 3-0 in the Mountain West, marking the first 3-0 start for USU since joining the MW.
Junior forward Justin Bean led five Aggies in double figures with a game-high 15 points and was followed by Brock Miller with 14 points, marking his third consecutive game in double figures. Redshirt junior guard Marco Anthony finished with 12 points, shooting a perfect 5-for-5 from the floor, including 2-for-2 from behind the 3-point line. Junior center Neemais Queta and freshman guard Steven Ashworth rounded out the double-digit scorers with 10 points apiece.
Queta recorded the Aggies’ only block of the game to increase his career total to 144 and tie Tai Wesley (2008-11) for third in school history. Queta entered the game with as many or more blocks by himself (21) than 154 teams in the nation.
Queta scored the opening basket of the game with a dunk, the first of two for him during the game, before Air Force took their first and only lead of the game, 6-4, with 18:04 on the clock. Utah State then put together a 17-3 run over the next six minutes, capped by Bean’s first 3-point field goal of the year, to take a commanding 21-9 lead with 11:57 to play in the opening half.
The margin remained in double figures throughout the rest of the game, as the Aggies’ final 35-point victory marked the largest scoring divide in series history.
Utah State was able to play all 15 players that dressed for the third consecutive game and has outscored each of its last three opponents by 37.7 points per game. The Aggie reserves outscored their counterparts, 28-16, and have carried an advantage in scoring in each of the last three games.
Utah State finished the game shooting a season-high 52.3 percent (34-of-65) from the floor, 40.0 percent (12-of-30) from behind the 3-point line and 50.0 percent (3-of-6) at the free throw line. Both of the Aggies’ makes and attempts at the charity stripe marked season lows for Utah State, who had averaged 22.6 free throws per game going into the contest.
Air Force (3-4, 1-2 MW) was led in scoring by sophomore forward Nikc Jackson with 11 points, the only Falcon in double figures. Overall, AFA shot 47.2 percent (17-of-36) from the floor, 26.3 percent (5-of-19) from behind the arc and 64.3 percent (9-of-14) at the free throw line.
The same two teams will face each other again on Saturday afternoon, tipping at 4 o’clock inside Clune Arena. Fans can watch the game on Stadium, online at watchstadium.com, or through steaming services such as YouTubeTV or PlutoTV.