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First-half run helps New Mexico beat Utah St. in MW tourney



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LAS VEGAS (AP) — Troy Simons scored 17 points, Joe Furstinger and Sam Logwood added 16 apiece and New Mexico beat Utah State 83-68 on Friday night in the Mountain West Conference Tournament.

The third-seeded Lobos will play No. 5 seed San Diego State in the championship game on Sunday. New Mexico (19-14), which has won seven in a row, beat the Aztecs 79-75 in the only regular-season matchup between the teams this season.

Utah State (17-17) went without a field goal for more than eight minutes and was scoreless for nearly seven as New Mexico used a 24-2 run to take a 14-point lead late in the first half. Furstinger hit two jumpers in an 8-0 run to open the second half and give the Lobos a 45-25 lead and a dunk by Makuach Maluach pushed the lead to 23 with 15½ minutes to play. The Aggies used an 11-2 run to trim their deficit to 77-68 with 1:51 left, but got no closer.

Sam Merrill had 17 points and Koby McEwen scored 16 for No. 7 seed Utah State.

New Mexico shot 52 percent (28 of 54) from the field and outscored the Aggies 20-13 from the free-throw line.

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The Associated Press

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