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Utah State holds off New Mexico for big home win

The Utah State Aggies snapped a five game skid with a home win over New Mexico.

Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Utah State earned just its second conference win at home Tuesday night when they knocked off New Mexico 80-72. The Aggies bounced back from a loss at Wyoming, where they gave up 20 three-pointers, to be a team that began the night in econd place in the Mountain West.

Utah State held one of the top offenses in the Mountain West to just 46% shooting including just 7 of 19 from behind the arc. The Aggies used seven steals and six blocked shots to continually disrupt the New Mexico offense and keep them out of rhythm. With a slight rebounding advantage over the Lobos, 33-3, Utah State is now 10-1 on the season when it out-rebounds its opponent.

Chris Smith led the Aggies with 19 points and four assists. Lew Evans and Jalen Moore were the other Aggies in double figures as they added 15 and 11 points respectively. Quinn Taylor had a career night on the glass for Utah State as he finished the night with five offensive and five defensive rebounds for a game high 10 boards. Utah State used an aggressive offense to get to the line early and often as they ended the night 21 of 28 from the free-throw line.

Elijah Brown and Tim Williams led the Lobos combining for 43 of the teams 72 points. Cullen Neal and Elijah Brown each had a game high five assists each. The Lobos largest lead of the night came early in the first half when a Tim Williams layup gave the Lobos a 16-11 lead with 13:12 left in the opening half. New Mexico used a 6-0 run at the open of the second half to pull within two of the Aggies but it was never that close again.

The Aggies never relinquished their lead again after a Quinn Taylor lay-up put them ahead 21-20 with 7:45 to go in the first half. Next up, New Mexico returns home looking to bounce back against San Jose State on Saturday. The Aggies try to build momentum with a home tilt against Colorado State next Wednesday.