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UNLV vs. Utah State final score 83-65: Aggies crush Rebels in 2nd half

Utah State stifled UNLV inside, as the Aggies ran away from UNLV in the second half.

Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Utah State crushed UNLV in the second half en route to a 83-65 win, extending the Aggies win streak to five games. The win propels Utah State into a tie for fourth in the Mountain West standings.

UNLV led at halftime, but a 9-0 run to open the half gave Utah State the lead for good. The Aggies outscored UNLV 48-27 in the final 20 minutes.

It was another extremely efficient night for David Collette. He had 17 points on 7 of 7 shooting, which followed his 24 points on 12 of 16 shooting in Las Vegas earlier this season. Not only did Collette heat up, but the Aggie shooters were stroking it.

Utah State shot drilled more than half of their shots from deep; Darius Perkins led the way draining 5 of 7 threes. The Aggies came in shooting 44 percent from three in Mountain West play, the best in the conference.

Defending the three-point line was a major key for Dave Rice leading up to the game, but UNLV couldn’t cover out to arc. With the hot three-point shooting and nearly perfect Collette, Utah State posted 1.22 points per possession.

The Rebels, who are in the bottom third of the NCAA in free throws per field goal attempts, did not get to the line (5 of 11 on free throws) as much as they thought they deserved. Chris Wood picked up a technical foul for arguing with a ref after he thought he was fouled.

One positive for UNLV was the play of Dwayne Morgan. It was the first time all season that Morgan has shown offensive prowess, and no, his performance against Saint Katherine doesn’t count.

Morgan was 6 of 6 from the field. He hit a three and another two-point jumper, two shots that have completely eluded him this season. He also put the ball on the floor and got to the rim a few times.

But the night was all about Utah State. Chris Smith had 20 points on 7 of 11 shooting. Darius Perkins and David Collette had 17 apiece. Jalen Moore was the only Aggie to not have an uber-efficient night, but he still finished with 16 points on 14 shots. As a team, the Aggies made 54 percent of their shots.

The win puts Utah State four games clear of seventh place UNLV, which means the Aggies have clinched a top six seed and a first round bye in the Mountain West Tournament. That leaves just one spot for UNLV to chase to get a bye in the conference tourney.

Fresno State is 1.5 games ahead UNLV for that final bye. The Bulldogs head to Wyoming on Wednesday, plus have home games against Air Force and New Mexico and a road trip to Boise State to wrap up the regular season.

UNLV will host Wyoming and San Diego State before heading to California to face San Jose State to close out the year.