Neemias Queta breaks all-time blocks record as Utah State rolls to 82-46 victory

File - Utah State center Neemias Queta (23) blocks the shot of San Jose State guard Sebastian Mendoza (4) as forward Justin Bean (34) and guard Marco Anthony (44) help defend during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2020, in Logan, Utah. (Eli Lucero/The Herald Journal via AP, Pool)

LUBBOCK, Texas – Utah State men’s basketball junior center Neemias Queta recorded three blocks against New Mexico on Friday night, bringing his career total to 156 and setting the all-time career blocks record at USU. Queta passed Gilbert Pete (1986-89) who finished with 155 blocks during his career, as the Aggies rolled to an 82-46 victory over the Lobos in Lubbock, Texas, on the campus of Lubbock Christian University.

 Queta logged one of two double-doubles for the Aggies during the contest, finishing with 11 points and a season-high 13 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the year. Junior forward Justin Bean also recorded his fourth double-double of the 2020-21 season, leading the team with 13 points and adding a matching 13 rebounds. The game marked the third time that the duo of Queta and Bean have logged a double-double in the same game, including twice this season.

 Queta and Bean were joined in double-digit scoring by redshirt junior guard Marco Anthony with 12 points and freshman guard Steven Ashworth with 10. Ashworth also led the Aggies in assists, logging five helpers as Utah State finished with 20 dimes on 32 made baskets. USU has recorded 20 or more assists in a game three times this season. 

 The Aggies dominated on the glass, pulling down more rebounds (53) than New Mexico had in total points (46) and outrebounding the Lobos 53-22. Utah State’s recorded its largest rebounding margin of the season with the plus-31 differential. The Aggies’ 18 offensive rebounds marked the 10th time this season that USU had pulled down double-digit offensive rebounds, as Bean logged more offensive rebounds (8) than the entire UNM roster (6).

 Utah State (9-3, 6-0 MW) raced out to a 16-2 lead in the opening half as Bean opened the scoring by knocking down a 3-pointer from the corner after the Aggies lost the tip for the first time all season. The USU margin grew to 20 points when Brock Miller made a basket from behind the arc with 4:27 on the clock, extending the Aggie lead to 30-10. Utah State led 45-18 at the break, tying the fewest points allowed by the Aggies in the opening half this season.

 Utah State’s lead never dipped below 23 points in the second half as freshman guard Karson Stastny punctuated the victory for Utah State, scoring his first collegiate points on a 3-point basket with 25 seconds remaining to give the Aggies the 82-46 win.

 USU shot better than 50 percent from the floor for the fifth time this season, finishing the game 50.8 percent (32-of-63) from the floor and shooting 43.8 percent (7-of-16) from behind the 3-point line and 64.7 percent (11-of-17) at the free throw line.

 New Mexico (3-6, 0-6 MW) was led in scoring by Makuach Maluach with a game-high-tying 13 points, as the Lobos shot 31.1 percent (19-of-61) from the floor, 23.8 percent (5-of-21) from behind the 3-point line and 75.0 percent (3-of-4) at the free throw line. Both the three makes and four attempts at the charity stripe for UNM marked season lows for a USU opponent.

 Utah State’s 6-0 start in league play is the best opening stretch for the Aggies since the 2010-11 season when the team started 14-0 in the WAC. USU will look to continue its success when hosting San Diego State in Logan on Thursday, Jan. 14, at 7 p.m., and then again on Saturday, Jan. 16, at 11 a.m. Both games can be seen on national television, with the game on Thursday showing on the CBS Sports Network (Xfinity Ch. 269/753HD, DISH Ch. 158, DirecTV Ch. 221), and the game on Saturday showing on CBS (Ch. 2).

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