Pair Of Aggies Set Career-High’s In Win Over Air Force

Feb 14, 2023, 8:51 PM | Updated: Feb 15, 2023, 12:51 pm

LOGAN, Utah – Max Shulga and Trevin Dorius combined for 46 points as Utah State led wire-to-wire in an 80-65 win over Air Force.

Utah State (20-7, 9-5) opened a two-game homestand by hosting the Air Force Falcons (13-14, 4-10) in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum on Tuesday, February 14.

Utah State entered looking to put an end to their first two-game losing streak of the season. The Aggies dropped a heartbreaker at home against San Diego State before losing 69-64 at San Jose State over the weekend,

Eighth in the Mountain West, Air Force went 1-1 last week in a pair of home games. The Falcons opened the week with a disappointing 69-53 loss to in-state rival Colorado State. Three days later, the Falcons knocked off New Mexico 89-77.

Max Shulga led all scorers with a season-high 29 points on 5-of-8 from deep and 8-of-9 from the foul line. Shulga added seven rebounds and three assists in perhaps his most impressive performance of the season. Trevin Dorius also scored a season-high 17 points and seven rebounds.

Jake Heidbreder led the Falcons with 16 points. Carter Murphy added 13 and freshman Rytis Petraitis scored 10 and had nine rebounds.

RELATED: Utah State Suffers Resume Deflating Loss Against San Jose State

First Half

Utah State made five of their first seven shots, jumping out to a 13-4 lead thanks to Trevin Dorius. Dorius scored the first basket of the game on a second-chance bucket, picking up two offensive rebounds on the play.

When Dan Akin checked in for Dorius with 15:14 left in the half, the 7’1 senior from Heber, UT had seven points on 3-of-4 shooting. As has been a bugaboo throughout his career, Dorius also picked up two fouls during the early stretch of play.

With Dorius on the bench in foul trouble, Air Force began attacking the basket relentlessly.

Two Aggie turnovers and a series of layups for Air Force allowed them to cut into the USU lead. A three-pointer from Camden Vander Zwaag cut the lead to 18-16 and forced a Ryan Odom timeout.

RELATED: Utah State Must Take Care Of Business At Home For NCAA Tournament Birth

Out of the timeout, USU went on an 10-2 run, jumping back out in front 28-18 on a lay-in from RJ Eytle-Rock.

Utah State would eventually take a 40-32 lead into halftime. Both teams shot an excellent first-half percentage with Air Force finishing 13-of-26 for an even 50 percent from the field. USU finished 15-of-31 (48.4 percent) while making 5-of-13 threes.

Second Half

Utah State outscored the Falcons 11-7 over the first seven minutes of the second half.

RELATED: Utah State’s Max Shulga Responds To Colorado State’s Chant, Apology

Trailing 55-42, Air Force used a 6-0 run to cut the lead to single digits, forcing a timeout from Odom.

Out of the timeout with the shot clock winding down, Shulga hit a long three to stem the bleeding. After an Air Force miss, Trevin Dorius drew a foul and went to the free throw line with a chance to set his season-high in scoring. The big man knocked down both free throws to give him 13 points and the Aggies a 60-48 lead.

Utah State would open up their largest lead of the game late in the second half, leading 73-56 with 2:43 left.

Bairstow iced the win away with a fast break, and one-handed dunk that put the Aggies up 78-62. USU went on to win

Up Next

USU hosts the Nevada Wolfpack (20-6, 10-3) at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum on Saturday, February 18. Tip-off for this game is scheduled for 6 p.m. (MT).

Every Utah State basketball game can be heard on the KSL Sports Zone with Scott Garrard on the call.

Coverage of Utah State University Athletics from KSL Sports can be found here. 

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Pair Of Aggies Set Career-High’s In Win Over Air Force