COLORADO SPRINGS, Col. (ABC4 Sports) – Utah State continued its best start in Mountain West Conference play with another dominating performance against Air Force Saturday night.
Neemias Queta led the way with 15 point and 11 rebounds, as the Aggies shot a season-best 54.5 percent from the floor in improving to 4-0 in conference play with a 72-53 win.
In the second half alone, USU shot a blistering 65.4 percent (17-of-26) from the floor, growing a 13-point halftime margin to as much as 25 in the final stanza.
Queta stuffed the stat sheet, leading the Aggies in points (15), rebounds (11), assists (6), blocks (4) and steals (2), and finished the night tied with Nate Wickizer for second all-time in USU history with 148 career blocks.
Queta was joined in double figures by Brock Miller with 13, marking double-digit outings in every league game so far this season, and Rollie Worster with a matching 13 points, and Justin Bean with 12 points.
Utah State took command of the game early, opening the contest with a 14-0 run that was punctuated by the first of two dunks by Queta during the contest. Air Force trimmed the game back to single digits with a 13-4 run, pulling the contest to 18-13 with 9:23 to play in the first half. The Aggies then closed out the half with five unanswered points from Worster, Bean and freshman guard Steven Ashworth to take a 33-20 lead into the break.
The double-digit margin remained throughout the second half behind the hot shooting by the Aggies.
Air Force (3-5, 1-3 MW) was led in scoring by AJ Walker with 19 points and he was followed by Chris Joyce with 11. The Falcons finished the game shooting 40.4 percent (19-of-47) from the floor, 35.7 percent (5-of-14) from behind the arc and 83.3 percent (10-of-12) at the free throw line.
Utah State (7-3, 4-0 MW) won the battle of the boards, 38-21, and has outrebounded every opponent this season. Besides shooting a season-high 54.5 percent (30-of-55) from the floor, the Aggies also shot 36.8 percent (7-of-19) from behind the 3-point line and 50.0 percent (5-of-10) at the free throw line.
Utah State will look to continue its best start in Mountain West play in school history next week, traveling to Lubbock, Texas, for a two-game series with the New Mexico Lobos. USU and UNM will meet on Wednesday, Jan. 6, at 8 p.m. and on Friday, Jan. 8, at 9 p.m.