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Utah State Seeks Revenge Against Air Force In Logan

(Photo courtesy of Rick Parker, USU Athletics)

LOGAN, Utah – The Utah State Aggies will look to get revenge against the Air Force Falcons when the two schools will square off on Tuesday night in the Spectrum.

In their previous meeting this season in Colorado Springs, Colorado on January 7, the Aggies collapsed in the second half, falling to Air Force, 79-60. Utah State had a lead towards the end of the first half before Air Force closed the half on a 9-0 to trail by three points. That run continued in the second half as they went on a 20-8 run. Utah State never recovered.

Sam Merrill scored just 10 points in the loss, including a scoreless second half. It was Utah State’s third straight loss after falling to UNLV and San Diego State before the matchup in Colorado Springs. Neemias Queta battled foul trouble, finished the game with 9 points, 3 rebounds and 4 fouls.

Utah State Undefeated At Home Against Air Force

The Aggies are 14-6 overall and 3-4 in Mountain West Conference action. They have lost four of their last five games. The Aggies lead the all-time series with Air Force, 18-6 and 11-0 inside the Spectrum. Since joining the conference in 2013, Utah State is 8-4 and 5-0 at home. Under head coach Craig Smith, Utah State is 22-2 at home.

Sam Merrill is third in the conference at 17.7 points per game. Justin Bean is third in rebounding average with 10.3 and Diogo Brito is leading the conference with 1.8 steals per game.

Entering the game against Air Force, Utah State ranks in the top 10 in five statistics. They are seventh in college basketball with 462 free throw attempts this season. In rebounding, USU is fifth in the country in total rebounds with 824, ninth in defensive rebounds per game at 29.55 and are outrebounding opponents by 8.2 boards per game, which is No. 15 in the country.

The Aggies have 331 assists this season, which is ranked No. 8 in the nation. Individually, Justin Bean recorded his 11th double-double this season in the Aggies’ loss to Boise State on Saturday. He had the fifth-most double-doubles in all of college basketball.

Air Force Trading Wins, Losses

The Falcons hold a 9-10 overall record and a 3-4 mark in conference play. In conference, Air Force has wins over Utah State, Wyoming and Boise State. They were defeated by Nevada, UNLV, New Mexico and Colorado State. At home, they are 6-4, but are 3-3 on the road.

In their last six games, Air Force is 3-3 and have not had a winning or losing streak since December.

When Air Force knocked off Utah State earlier this month, Ryan Swan led all scorers with 31 points and pulled down 11 rebounds. He is second on the team at 13.9 points per game, along with 4.2 rebounds and shooting 51.7 percent from the field per contest.

Their leading scorer this season is Lavelle Scottie with 15.2 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game. He is shooting 46.5 percent from the floor, 36 percent from beyond the arc and 71.6 percent from the free throw line.

The game in Logan will tip-off at 9 p.m. on Tuesday night and will be broadcast on ESPNU.

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