Aggies Suffer Worst Defeat Of Season In Loss To Air Force

Jan 7, 2020, 11:24 PM | Updated: 11:30 pm
Sam Merrill - Utah State - Air Force 2...
Utah State guard Sam Merrill makes a move against an Air Force defender in a January game at the Dee Glenn Smith Spectrum in Logan, Utah. Courtesy of Deseret News.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The Utah State men’s basketball team suffered its worst loss of the 2019-20 season in a 19 point defeat to the Air Force Falcons.

The Falcons beat the Aggies at Clune Arena in Colorado on Tuesday, January 7.

Utah State struggled to close the first half and went into halftime up three points after allowing the Falcons to close the opening 20 minutes of play on a 9-0 run. Air Force continued to roll after coming out of the locker room to start the second half.

The Falcons led for the first time in the second half with 16:27 remaining. Utah State hadn’t trailed since an early 6-4 deficit.

Air Force extended its advantage and blew the game open with a 20-8 run. The Aggies were never able to recover and suffered their worst loss of the season with a 79-60 loss to the Falcons.

Three In A Row

The result was the Aggies third defeat in a row. Utah State has opened the new year with losses to UNLV, San Diego State, and now Air Force.

Utah State guard Sam Merrill led all scorers at the break with 10 points. Air Force was able to adjust at halftime and shut down the Aggies’ leading player in the final 20 minutes of the game. Merrill shot 0-5 on field goals and went scoreless in the second half.

After checking out with only a few minutes remaining and the outcome decided, Merrill sat on the bench with a pack of ice up against a bruise on his cheek under his left eye.

With his 10 points, Merrill is now tied with Marvin Roberts at No. 6 on the Aggies’ all-time scoring list.

Brock Miller was the only other Aggie to score in double figures with 16 points on 5-9 shooting from behind the arc.

Aggie center Neemias Queta spent much of the game riding the pine with foul trouble. Queta finished the game with 9 points, 3 rebounds, and 4 fouls.

Utah State was outshot 47.5-36.5 percent on field goals and outrebounded 50-29.

The Falcons were led by Ryan Swan’s 31 points on 11-16 shooting. Swan pulled down 11 boards to lead all players.

The Aggies moved to 13-5 (2-3 MWC) on the season and below .500 in Mountain West Conference play with the loss.

Air Force improved to an even 8-8 on the year and 2-2 in their conference slate of games.

Utah State returns home to take on the Nevada Wolfpack on Saturday, January 11. The game is scheduled to tip at 6 p.m. (MDT) on CBS Sports Network.

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