LOGAN – Utah State started fast and never let up in its 89-58 win over Air Force on Senior Night. Aggie wing Jalen Moore led with 24 points during his final game in the Spectrum Saturday.
“It felt great to go out on a win like that,” Moore said. “We’re winning right now. That always feels better.”
Moore was one of three seniors recognized before their final home game. Seniors Shane Rector and Connor Garner were in the starting lineup alongside Moore.
“As a kid I’ve always had a dream of playing here,” Moore said. “To end up like, and have the career I’ve had, it feels great.”
The 31-point win was the largest margin of victory for USU against a conference opponent this year. Rector’s explanation for his team’s dominating performance?
“It was that Spectrum magic, baby,” he said. “Everybody was going tonight. Once we put that foot on the pedal we didn’t take it off.”
Quinn Taylor scored 13 and Sam Merrill added 12 points and nine assists during the victory. Garner got his first career start as and scored a career-high nine points on three 3-pointers. The Aggies made 13 3-pointers on 25 attempts.
“We made a lot of really simple plays,” head coach Tim Duryea said, “and when you do that you shoot a high percentage and you score a lot of points. That’s what happened.”
The Aggies started the game with six straight points. Air Force’s Hayden Graham stopped the run with a 3, but USU Garner responded with his first 3 of the game.
“I could not be happier for Connor Garner,” Duryea said. “Good things happen to good people, and they don’t come much better than Connor.”
The Aggies continued to extend its lead through the first half. Freshman Koby McEwen and Moore combined for four 3s in four-straight possessions to take a 33-18 lead. USU went into the break with a 20-point advantage.
“We came out really aggressive tonight,” said Rector, who had six points and five assists. “We dropped one at their house. That was on everybody’s mind.”
USU continued its domination throughout the second half and led by as many as 33.
“Everybody was doing what they needed to do to get a win like that,” Moore said. “That is what made it fun.”
Utah State will play its final regular season game Wednesday March 1, at UNLV. After that, it is the Mountain West Conference tournament.
“We’ve still got something to play for,” Rector said. “These last couple of games could determine where we play in the tournament so everybody was ready to go tonight.”