National Basketball Association
Utah St. 72, Air Force 60
When: 11:00 PM ET, Friday, March 1, 2024
Where: Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, Logan, Utah
Officials: # Jeffrey Anderson, # Kipp Kissinger, # Tony Padilla
Attendance: 9194

Ian Martinez scored a game-high 21 points Friday night and No. 22 Utah State grabbed sole possession of first place in the Mountain West Conference with a 72-60 home win over Air Force in Logan, Utah.

Josh Uduje scored 11 points and Mason Falslev and Darius Brown II added 10 apiece, helping the Aggies (24-5, 12-4 MWC) take a half-game lead on Boise State and extend their advantage on San Diego State and Nevada to a full game.

Utah State has a trip to San Jose State (9-20, 2-14) on Wednesday before a home matchup with New Mexico (21-7, 9-6) next Saturday to close out the final week of conference play.

Four players reached double figures for the Falcons (9-19, 2-14), led by Ethan Taylor's 15 points. Rytis Petraitis added 14, although he made just 7 of 19 shots from the field. Beau Becker added 12, while Byron Brown netted 11.

Air Force couldn't make enough 3-pointers to apply real pressure on the Aggies, going 6 of 21 from deep after entering the game as a 36.5 percent shooting team from the arc. The Falcons were also pummeled 33-22 on the boards and permitted 16 fast-break points.

Utah State led for all but 30 seconds of the game and owned a 19-point advantage with less than 5 1/2 minutes left but couldn't quite knock out the Falcons. But it kept them at arm's length by earning a 19-4 advantage in made free throws.

After walloping Air Force 88-60 in each team's conference opener on Jan. 2, the Aggies tried for a similar result through most of the first half. They connected on 58.6 percent of their field goals, opening up a 16-8 lead six minutes into the game when Uduje dunked.

Darius Brown made a layup after a steal at the 10:07 mark to open up the team's first double-figure lead at 22-12. The advantage grew to 15 on a couple of occasions before Utah State settled for a 43-30 cushion at halftime.

The Aggies won despite getting just six points from leading scorer Great Osobor, who missed a chunk of the second half with a head injury.

--Field Level Media

Top Game Performances
Air Force   Utah St.
Ethan Taylor 15 Scoring Ian Martinez 21
Rytis Petraitis 5 Assists Mason Falslev 5
Byron Brown 5 Rebounds Mason Falslev 6
Beau Becker 2 Free Throws Made Ian Martinez 5
Byron Brown 3 Steals Darius Brown II 3
N/A Blocks Great Osobor 4
Team Stats Summary
Team Points FG% 3PM-3PA FTM-FTA Assists Rebounds Blocks Steals Turnovers
Air Force 60 47.2 6-21 4-5 15 22 0 6 13
Utah St. 72 53.2 3-14 19-25 10 28 4 11 13