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Air Force basketball falls again to Utah State, 72-53

Falcons drop to 3-5 on season
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Published: Jan. 2, 2021 at 9:30 PM MST
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USAFA, Colo. - Air Force men’s basketball (3-5, 1-3 MW) dropped an 72-53 Mountain West contest to Utah State (7-3, 4-0 MW) Saturday afternoon at Clune Arena. Junior guard AJ Walker led the Falcons with 19 points.

Slow starts to both the first and second half hurt the Falcons. Utah State scored the first 14 points of the game and went into halftimeleading 33-20. The Falcons managed to get to within five points twice in the first half, but USU kept pulling away. The Aggies went on an 18-6 run to open the second half and essentially put the game away.

Four players for Utah State reached double-figures in scoring with center Neemia Queta and forward Justin Bean scoring 15 points each. Queta notched a double-double with 11 rebounds and added four blocks.

Walker was 8 of 13 from the floor and 3 of 4 from three point range to lead the Falcons. The junior also added three steals and an assist in 38 minutes. Joining Walker in double-figures was senior guard Chris Joyce, who scored 11 points to go with two steals.

Forward Nikc Jackson scored eight points and forward Ameka Akaya had a team-high six points off the bench with a pair of three’s. Jackson also led the team with five rebounds and two blocked shots. Freshman forward Derek Dickenscheidt made his collegiate debut in the game, with one minute in reserve.

Air Force shot 40 percent from the field and 36 percent from three-point range. Utah State shot 50 percent from the field and had a 44-22 advantage in points in the paint.

Air Force returns to action Wednesday, Jan. 6 at Boise State. The game tips at 9 pm MT and will be televised on FS1.