by Ashley Springer, USU Athletic Media Relations
USAFA, Colo. - Utah State men's basketball (14-15, 7-9 Mountain West) lost, 75-65, to Air Force (11-16, 5-10 MW) on Saturday at the Clune Arena.
Sophomore guard Koby McEwen had 13 points, eight rebounds, four assists and a steal in the loss. Junior forward Dwayne Brown Jr. recorded 12 points, eight rebounds, two assists, one steal and a block.
The teams traded 3-point baskets to open play and a second trey by the Falcons gave the home side an 8-5 lead with 17:27 on the clock. However, Utah State countered with seven-straight points behind baskets by junior forward Quinn Taylor, sophomore guard Sam Merrill and sophomore guard Diogo Brito to take a 12-8 lead with 15:20 to play. The Aggies never trailed from there, building a double-digit margin following an and-1 by senior forward Alex Dargenton, 35-25, with 6:28 to play. The lead grew to as much as 15, 45-30, when McEwen sank a free throw with 1:36 to play. A basket by the Falcons with 46 seconds on the clock made it 45-32 and that same score carried over into the half.
Air Force opened the second half with a 14-2 run, bringing the Falcons within one, 47-46, with 14:11 to play. The game remained close over the next few minutes, but after a jumper from junior guard DeAngelo Isby tied the game, 55-55, with 7:44 to go, Air Force would lead the remainder of the game. A couple of Brown free throws cut the lead to one, 62-61, with 3:17 on the clock, but Air Force would use a 9-1 run to lead 71-62 with 38 seconds left. McEwen knocked down a trey with 34 seconds to go, but the Falcons would score the final four points to win it, 75-65.
Air Force was led by sophomore forward Lavelle Scottie with 18 points. Sophomore guard Sid Tomes and senior guard Trevor Lyons each recorded 14 points, and sophomore guard Caleb Morris scored 13.
After shooting 59.3 percent (16-of-27) from the floor and 60.0 percent (9-of-15) from behind the arc in the first half, the Aggies shot just 20.0 percent (6-of-30) from the field and 8.3 percent (1-of-12) from behind the 3-point line in the second half. Utah State finished the game shooting 38.6 percent (22-of-57) from the floor, 37.0 percent (10-of-27) from behind the 3-point line and 57.9 percent (11-of-19) at the free throw line. Air Force shot 49.0 percent (25-of-51) from the floor, 42.1 percent (8-of-19) from behind the 3-point line and 65.4 percent (17-of-26) at the free throw line.
Utah State remains on the road and will play in its road finale against San José State (3-23, 0-15 MW) in San José, Calif., on Wednesday, Feb. 28, at 8 p.m. (MT).
Utah State men’s basketball news and information is available on Facebook (facebook.com/usumen’sbasketball) and on Twitter (@usubasketball). Fans can also get USU men’s basketball highlights on YouTube (youtube.com/utahstateathletics). Aggie fans can follow the Utah State athletic program on Twitter (@usuathletics), on Facebook (facebook.com/usuathletics) or on Instagram (@usuathletics).
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