Great Osobor’s Career-High Helps Utah State Subdue Air Force

Jan 2, 2024, 4:04 PM

utah state basketball...

Utah State basketball players (left to right) Great Osborne, Darius Brown II, and Mason Falslev

(left to right)

LOGAN, Utah –Β Junior forward Great Osobor set the tone out of the gate for Utah State, planting himself in the post as the Aggies ran their offense through the big man, setting the stage for Osobor to score a career-high 32 points in the 88-60 win over Air Force.

Utah State (13-1, 1-0) christened 2024 in Colorado Springs, CO against the Air Force Falcons (7-6, 0-1) in the Mountain West opener for both programs.

RELATED: USU Finishes 2023 With Blowout Win

Great Osobor finished with the Aggies season-high of 32 points while making 11 of 14 shots and hitting 10-of-16 free throws. Osobor bested his career-high of 31 points set earlier this season in a win over Southern Utah.

Freshman guard Mason Falslev poured in 18 points while senior Ian Martinez was perfect from the field, finishing with 17 points.Β  Darius Brown II added eight points and eight assists without a turnover.

Rytis Petraitis led four Falcons in double-figures with 15 points. Ethan Taylor and Jeffrey Mills scored a dozen each while Kellan Boylan added 11 points.

First Half

The Aggies jumped out to a 10-2 lead in the opening four minutes with Great Osobor and Ian Martinez scoring four points apiece.

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Martinez and Osobor hit their first three shots as Utah State went on a 10-0 run. USU held the Falcons scoreless for more than five minutes during the outburst.

Danny Sprinkle’s team made seven of their first nine shots while Air Force missed 6-of-9 from the field.

Pressure defense and crisp passing allowed USU to increase its lead to 16 after a free throw from Osobor. USU assisted on seven of its first 12 baskets.

The Aggies took a 31-15 lead into the under-eight-minute timeout.

While Utah State went scoreless for the last three minutes of the half, Ethan Taylor got going for Air Force. Taylor hit the Falcons first three with 1:11 left in the half and then hit a 40-foot heave at the halftime horn to cut the Aggie lead to 42-29 at the break.

Osobor and Martinez combined to make 12 of 14 shots and score 30 of USU’s 42 points. The Aggies shot 60 percent for the half while AFA hit 38 percent of their looks.

Second Half

Osobor came out of the locker room playing with the same aggressiveness that helped him be so effective in the opening period. The junior forward scored back-to-back buckets as the Aggies maintained their lead.

Despite not scoring in the first half, graduate senior guard Darius Brown II found a way to contribute. After finding his way to the cup for his first basket, Brown II had seven assists and five rebounds to help his team build a double-digit lead.

RELATED: Ian Martinez Becomes First Aggie To Earn Weekly Honor

A steal and breakaway dunk for Martinez halted any momentum the Falcons had built. Moments later, Osobor equaled his career-high with a two-handed slam that led to a Falcon timeout.

Utah State led 58-42 with 11:50 to play.

Both teams unloaded their benches in the final minutes with Utah State leading by more than 20 for much of the second half.

Utah State won its 12th straight game, beating Air Force 88-60.

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Utah State will host the No. 13 Colorado State Rams (12-1, 0-0) on Saturday, January 6. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. (MT). USU is 61-43 all-time against CSU.

Listen to USU basketball games onΒ KSL Sports ZoneΒ 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 athleticsΒ here.

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Great Osobor’s Career-High Helps Utah State Subdue Air Force