BOISE (ABC4 Sports) – The Utah State offense wasn’t the problem in an 81-77 loss to Boise State Friday night.
The problem was getting stops on the defensive end, as the Broncos shot 53.7 percent (29-of-54) from the floor and 41.2 percent (7-of-17) from behind the 3-point line.
Neemias Queta had another excellent game for the Aggies, finishing with game-high 30 points and added 11 rebounds for his second-straight double-double. Queta scored a career-high 32 in the Aggies 79-70 loss to Boise State on Wednesday.
“Congratulations to Boise State, head coach Craig Smith said. “They played well. It was a heck of a college basketball game. You’re not going to beat a really good team allowing them to shoot 74 percent in a half. We’ve just got to be better.”
Justin Bean had 11 points, while Brock Miller added 10 for the Aggies, who fell to 14-7 on the season, 11-4 in the Mountain West Conference.
Derrick Alston, Jr. led the way for Boise State with 23 points, while Abu Kijab poured in 19.
The Aggies started hot Friday night, jumping out to a 9-0 lead. But Boise countered and tied the game at 21 with 9:41 to go in the first half. Back to Back buckets by Queta gave Utah State a 37-30 lead going into the break.
The Aggies jumped out to a nine point lead early in the second half before the Broncos went on a 14-0 run to put them up 50-45 with just under 14 minutes to play. The Aggies answered with an 8-0 run to take a 53-50 lead with 12:31 left.
The game turned into a back and forth affair with neither team able to make a run and hold onto the lead. Utah State had a 68-64 lead with 6:15 to play following three-straight baskets by senior forward Alphonso Anderson, who finished with eight points. But seven unanswered points by Boise State gave the home team a 71-68 lead.
Queta tied the game for the final time at 71-71 with just under three minutes to play but Boise State kept making buckets down the stretch.
Miller hit a 3-pointer with 46 seconds left to give the Aggies some life. Steven Ashworth had a shot to tie the game with 15 seconds left, but his three-pointer was off the mark.
“I thought we came out and fought hard,” Miller said. “At the end of the day, they played really well. You have to give Boise State a lot of credit. Overall, we showed a lot of fight. We’re going to have to bounce back from this for sure.”
Utah State will be back home in Logan Friday, February 26th to start a two game series against Nevada.