Utah State Advances To Mountain West Championship
Aggies outwork Rams in late night 62-50 semi-final win
Utah State to face San Diego State in championship game
Neemias Queta came up big against Colorado State with a near triple double to lead the Aggies to their third straight Mountain West Champion game appearance. Queta finished with 18 points, 14 rebounds, and nine blocks as the Aggies used a strong second half to pull away from the Rams.
Justin Bean and Brock Miller joined Queta in double figures, with 13 and 11 points respectively. Bean also had a double-double with 11 rebounds. Utah State only made five more shots than the Rams, but did so on six less attempts. The Aggies outrebounded the Rams by seven, 50-43, and had 10 more assists, 16-6.
The first half was a back and forth affair as the Aggies and Rams traded shots before Utah State took a four point lead into half time. CSU held a four point lead with six minutes left in the first half, but soon lost it and never got closer than three points the rest of the way.
Utah State’s defense won them this game. They held Colorado State to 18% from the field in the second half as the Rams went 7-38 from the field. Queta stepped up big with eight of his nine blocks in the second half, as the Aggies went without a made field goal the last 9:30 of the game.
The Rams just couldn’t buy a bucket in this game. They were held to just 25.4% from the field, the Rams lowest output of the season since their out of character performance against St. Mary’s. Hitting only 17 of their 67 shots, Colorado State was forced into multiple difficult shots by the stifling Utah State defense.
Isaiah Stevens led the way for the Rams with 15 points and chipped in seven rebounds. David Roddy had scored in double figures for the 11th straight game with 12 points and had 10 rebounds for a double-double. Dischon Thomas was the only other Ram with more than four points, as he finished the night with nine points.
Utah State has an early day tomorrow as they go for their third straight Mountain West Tournament Championship. They face San Diego State in the Mountain West Championship game at 3pm Pacific Time. Colorado State meanwhile will be waiting with anticipation as they are firmly on the bubble now as one of the last teams in.