Utah State shoots its way past Colorado State, Rams fall to 0-5 on road

Coming off back-to-back victories over Air Force and New Mexico, there was reason for Colorado State men’s basketball (7-11, 2-3) to feel confident for Saturday night’s contest with Utah State. The Aggies quickly proved why USU has been near the top of the conference standings all season in the 87-72 victory though.

While the game was more competitive than the final score may indicate, Utah State (14-5, 4-2) opened with a 14-2 run over the first 4:17 and never gave up control from there. The Aggies were extremely efficient from the floor, dominated the glass and did a nice job of sharing the basketball.

Five different USU players finished the night with double-digit figures, including freshman center Neemias Queta, who finished with a double-double (18 points, 10 rebounds). Queta has now finished with 13 or more points in five consecutive games and is quickly proving to be one of the best big men in the Mountain West.

Along with Queta, fellow freshman, guard Brock Miller played a big role in Saturday’s success for the Aggies. Miller made 6-of-9 3-point attempts, totaling 18 points in only 27 minutes played. Miller was definitely Utah State’s biggest weapon from beyond the arch, but the whole team really shot the basketball well from deep. The Aggies made 12-of-25 3-point attempts in the home victory (48 percent).

CSU had a decent offensive showing as well. The Rams had five scorers with double-digit figures and shot 45.1 percent from the floor as a team. With Anthony Masinton-Bonner out with an achilles injury, senior guard J.D. Paige paced CSU in total points (17) and minutes (38). Nico Carvacho also picked up his 11th double-double of the season with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Unfortunately for CSU, the disparity in total rebounds was a huge factor in the loss. Carvacho grabbed 10 boards, but nobody else recorded more than three. As a team, CSU finished with 24 rebounds. Qeuta (11) and Quinn Taylor (9) nearly matched that total by themselves for the Aggies.

The Rams will need a more complete performance in Wednesday night’s game against No. 10 Nevada. CSU and Nevada will tip at 9:00 p.m. MT in Reno, NV., and will be televised on CBS Sports Network.

PHOTO: Tony Villalobos-May