LAS VEGAS (ABC4 Sports) – After an 11-game winning streak, Utah State is suddenly in a slump.
The Aggies make just 32.8 percent of its shots from the field and loses to UNLV, 59-56, for its second consecutive loss. The 56 points were a season low for the Aggies, who managed just 22 points in the second half.
Utah State (12-5, 9-2 MWC) almost rallied from down nine points in the final 1:09, cutting the Rebels lead to one, but David Jenkins, Jr. converted a pair of free throws with six seconds to play, and a final 3-point Steven Ashworth was blocked.
“Tough night for the Aggies,” Smith said. “Credit UNLV, they played really, really well in a lot respects. We were not great on offense all night and especially in the second half. Defensively, we had a lot of breakdowns in the first half.”
Marco Anthony led all scorers with 18 points, Justin Bean added 10 points, while Neemias Queta was just shy of collecting a double-double, finishing with eight points, a game-high-tying 11 rebounds and a career-high-tying six blocks.
Utah State’s defense held UNLV (6-6, 3-2 MW) to 32.8 percent (20-of-61) from the floor, however the USU offense matched the output, shooting a season-low 32.8 percent (20-of-61) during the contest.
The Aggies made just 5 of 22 three-point attempts, while UNLV knocked down 13 shots from beyond the arc. Utah State also committed 17 turnovers.
“These past games, even during the winning streak, the problem was turnovers,” Anthony said. “We’ve got to take care of the ball better. I mean it’s just something you can’t hang your head or the rollercoaster is just going to keep going down, so you just gotta learn from that.”
Rollie Worster added nine points for the Aggies, while Brock Miller scored seven.
UNLV was led in scoring by Jenkins and Bryce Hamilton, each with 14 points. They were joined in double figures by Moses Wood with 10 points.
The same teams return to the court in Las Vegas on Wednesday night, tipping at 9 p.m.