LOGAN, Utah (ABC4 Sports) — Utah State is kicking off at the right time.
Brandon Horvath had 17 career points, nine rebounds and seven assists to help lead the Aggies to a 73-46 rout of Air Force as the Aggies won their third game since. line.
Justin Bean also had 17 points and nine rebounds as Utah State (13-9, 4-5 MW) improved to 13-0 all-time at home against the Falcons (10-10, 3- 6).
The 46 points allowed by the Aggies are the fewest scored by an opponent from Utah State this season. During its current three-game winning streak, USU is allowing just 50.7 points per game.
“A good game all around,” Horvath said. “We came in with a little sour taste in our mouths from the last time they beat us, so we had a bit of extra motivation. We really locked ourselves in during the week on their sets and how they play, and we played a lot harder than we did the first time.
Utah State lost its first game of the season to the Falcons in a low-scoring game, 49-47. This one wasn’t that close.
The Aggies, who held the Falcons to just 23 points in each half, led for nearly 37 minutes on the night.
“Big win for us,” Utah State head coach Ryan Odom said. “Air Force really challenges you. They move their guys so fast. Good shooters all over their team, over 50%, majority of their guys, over 50% of their shots come from threes. So clearly that was a goal for us, not allowing them to look clean.
A 3-point step back from Joseph Octave gave the visitors their final lead of the night at 7-5 with 17:46 remaining in the first half. A layup from Horvath tied it at 7-all and a layup from Bean – assisted by Horvath – gave the Aggies the advantage to stay, 9-7 with 15:28 to go in the half. .
Horvath’s basket actually sparked a 10-0 run for Utah State, which led 36-23 at the break.
Sean Bairstow and Steven Ashworth also scored in double figures for the Aggies with 15 and 10 points apiece, respectively. Ashworth also had six assists, helping Utah State record 20 assists on 26 field goals – the ninth time the Aggies have finished with 20 or more assists.
Utah State also had 20 more rebounds than the Air Force (36-16) and scored 12 points on Falcon’s 12 turnovers.
The Aggies shot a season-high 61.9% from the field (26 of 42), including 31.3% from beyond the arc (5 of 16) and 94.1% from the throw line francs (16 out of 17) . Utah State is the only opponent to shoot above 60 percent against the Air Force this season.
The Falcons shot just 36.0% from the field (18 of 50), including 13.3% from 3-point range (2 of 15) and 72.7% from the charity strip (8 of 11) .
“It was a good win,” said point guard Rylan Jones. “We had a sour taste the last time we played Air Force and lost by two. We came prepared this week to add more ball pressure and not let them do what they wanted to do. and that helped us win the game tonight.
Utah State limited its last two opponents — the Air Force and Nevada — to just 33.3 percent shooting from the field (36 of 108).
The Aggies continue their three-game home game Thursday, Feb. 3 at 7 p.m. when they host San Jose State at the Spectrum.
“Excited for the guys, but certainly we’re not happy,” Odom said. “There is a lot of ball to play. We are delighted to be able to play three home games in a week here, but we know it will be difficult. Our clear goal now is to learn from this game. Things that we did well, things that we missed a bit on, and then we started to rest and get ready for San Jose State, which gets here Thursday night.