Utah State drops third straight game, losing to Air Force, 79-60


Air Force center Ryan Swan (34) drives under the basket against Utah State guard Diogo Brito (24) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, at Air Force Academy, Colo. (Christian Murdock/The Gazette via AP)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (ABC4 Sports) – Before this season, Craig Smith had never lost two games in a row as head coach of the Utah State basketball team.

After a blowout loss to Air Force Tuesday night, the Aggies have now dropped three straight.

Utah State saw its double-digit lead go by the wayside as the Aggies lost to Air Force 79-60 in a Mountain West men’s basketball game Tuesday night at Clune Arena.

Brock Miller led the Aggies (13-5, 2-3 MW) with 16 points as he knocked down all five of his 3-pointers on the night, while Sam Merrill chipped in 10 points for USU, but was held scoreless in the second half.

Ryan Swan scored 31 points for the Falcons (8-8, 2-2 MW), who trailed the Aggies 34-22 with 3:46 left in the first half following a 3-pointer by Miller.

However, Air Force closed the half on a 9-0 run and went into the break only trailing 34-31. The Falcons kept soaring after intermission and extended their game-changing spurt to 29-5, opening a 51-39 lead with 13:48 to go.

The closest Utah State got the rest of the way was six – on two occasions.

The Aggies only shot 36.5 percent from the field on the night (23-of-63), including 35.7 percent from 3-point range (10-of-28), and 50.0 percent from the free throw line (4-of-8). Air Force did turn it over 13 times on the night, which led to 20 points on the other end.

Air Force shot 47.5 percent from the field (29-of-61), including 32.0 percent from beyond the arc (8-of-25), and 76.5 percent from the charity stripe (13-of-17).

Despite its height advantage over Air Force, Utah State was outrebounded 50-29.

AJ Walker joined Swan, who had a double-double with a game-best 11 rebounds, in double-figure scoring for the Falcons with 12 points.

Utah State will look get back on track when the Aggies host Nevada on Saturday, Jan. 11, at 6 p.m. 

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