Utah State (25-7; 13-5) defeated New Mexico last night, 91-76, in a Mountain West Tournament quarterfinal game and will move on to face Boise State (24-8; 13-5) in a conference semi-final game before the Mountain West Championship game tomorrow. Taylor Funk scored 32 points for the Aggies on 10 for 16 shooting (63%). Sean Ashworth scored 22 points on 6-10 shooting (60%) and Max Shulga scored 12 points on 3-7 shooting (43%) and was 6-7 on free throws and had four rebounds, five assists, and three steals. Off the bench, Dan Akin scored 17 points on 7-9 shooting (78%) and had four rebounds and three assists.
The Aggies scored 44 points in the first half and 47 in the second in the dominant win over the Lobos. As a team, Utah State went 30-62 on shooting (48.4%) and made 12 of their 24 three point attempts (50%). New Mexico went 28-64 on shooting (43.8%) and was just 2-10 on three point attempts (20%). Both teams shot many free throws, Utah State made 19 of their 26 free throws (73.1%) while New Mexico was 18 for 25 (72%). Utah State and New Mexico were very close in terms of rebound, where the Aggies grabbed 40 and the Lobos managed 36 rebounds. Utah State had 21 assists compared to New Mexico’s 12 and both teams had 14 turnovers. Both teams fouled several times, Utah State putting up 23 fouls while the Lobos managed 21 fouls.
With the win over New Mexico, Utah State may have punched their ticket as a first four team, however a win in the semi-finals would only aid Utah State’s position in the March Madness Tournament. Utah State is a two point favorite over the Broncos and the Aggies are also 20-11 against the spread.