Bovine Blog: Utah State Opens New Year Against Old Foe

Jan 1, 2024, 2:53 PM | Updated: 3:17 pm

LOGAN, Utah – Will it be a ‘New Year, new look’ for the Utah State Aggies when they open the New Year with games against a pair of Colorado schools this week?

11 days will have elapsed between games for the Utah State Aggies when they step on the Clune Arena court to face the Air Force Falcons. With 12 days off for the host school, both coaches hope to have balanced the fine line between rest and rust.

USU (12-1) opens Mountain West play against AFA on Tuesday, January 2, 2024.

RELATED: USU Finishes Non-Conference Schedule With Blowout Win

Utah State’s 11-game winning streak is tied for the fourth-longest current streak in the country.

The Aggies are third in the MW, averaging 81.3 ppg while Air Force (69.2) is last in the league. The Falcons scoring defense (65 ppg allowed) is second in the MW with USU fourth (65.7 ppg allowed).

Graduate senior point guard Darius Brown II’s 7.6 assists per game and 5.82 assist-to-turnover ratio are second in the nation.

USU is 25-7 all-time against the Falcons and 9-7 in Colorado Springs. The Aggies have won the last four games in the series after sweeping AFA in two games last season.

This marks the sixth time Utah State has faced Air Force in its MW road opener. USU is 5-5 in MW road openers.

Air Force Falcons (7-5)

Led by fourth-year head coach Joe Scott, Air Force enters on a losing streak that includes home losses to Big Sky teams Eastern Washington and Northern Colorado. The Falcons are 4-3 overall at home and looking to improve on a 5-13 Mountain West finish last season.

RELATED: Logan Provided Unique Environment For Morrill’s Success

Defensively, the Falcons lead the MW with five blocked shots per game while holding opponents to 41.8 percent shooting and 34 percent from deep. They hit 8.58 threes per game, third in the MW behind only Colorado State (8.69) and San Jose State (8.85).

After missing seven early games, 6’7 sophomore forward Rytis Petraitis is shooting 54.4 percent from the field and 43 percent from three while scoring 18 points, grabbing 5.8 rebounds, and dishing out 3.8 assists per game. Petraitis also averages two steals per contest.

Ethan Taylor pours in 17.7 points in 39 minutes per night. Beau Becker rounds out the double-digit scorers with 15.8 points per game while blocking 1.3 shots. Kellan Boylan pulls down a team-high 6.9 rebounds a night and scores 8.3 points.

Following USU With KSL Sports Zone

Utah State opens Mountain West action against Air Force on Tuesday, January 2. Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m. (MT).

Listen to USU basketball games on KSL Sports Zone with Scott Garrard on the call.

Find KSL Sports coverage of Utah State University Athletics here. 

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Brian Preece is a KSLsports.com insider covering the Utah State Aggies and Salt Lake Bees. Follow Brian’s coverage of the Bees, Big League Utah, and Aggie athletics here.

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Bovine Blog: Utah State Opens New Year Against Old Foe