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Colter Peterson, KSL, File

No. 13 San Diego State beats Utah State to improve to 15-0

By John Coon, Associated Press | Posted - Jan. 4, 2020 at 11:21 p.m.



LOGAN (AP) — Malachi Flynn scored 22 points, Matt Mitchell added 19 and No. 13 San Diego State beat Utah State 77-68 on Saturday night to improve to 15-0.

The Aztecs snapped the Aggies’ 15-game home winning streak and beat them for the 12th time in the last 14 games. They shot 51% from the field and scored 13 points off 11 Utah State turnovers.

San Diego State (15-0, 4-0 Mountain West) has the longest winning streak in the country. Auburn is the only other undefeated Division I team.

Sam Merrill scored 26 points and Neemias Queta added 15 points and 14 rebounds for the Aggies. Utah State (13-4, 2-2) lost back-to-back games for the first time since coach Craig Smith took over the program before the start of the 2018-19 season.

Back-to-back 3-pointers from Flynn and Mitchell sparked a 10-1 run that helped the Aztecs take a 21-12 lead with 7:18 left in the first half. Flynn’s outside basket barely beat the shot-clock buzzer before a media timeout. Utah State enabled the run by going more than five minutes without scoring.

San Diego State made six straight baskets to stay in front after the Aggies started to find their shots. Trey Pulliam capped the stretch with a jumper to give the Aztecs their largest first-half lead at 34-23.

The Aztecs eventually built up a 16-point lead early in the second half, going up 53-37 when Jordan Schakel buried a 3-pointer to cap a string of three straight San Diego State baskets. Queta was forced to the bench for a long stretch early in the half, making it tough for Utah State to keep it close, after picking up three personal fouls in less than three minutes.

BIG PICTURE

San Diego State: Like they have done all season, the Aztecs rose to the occasion at critical junctures on both ends of the court. They controlled tempo, forced numerous contested looks at the basket, and answered rallies with timely field goals.

Utah State: The Aggies struggled in a pair of key offensive areas en route to their second straight loss. Utah State missed several early free throws before halftime and shot just 6-of-23 from the perimeter.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

San Diego State is in the mix to move into the Top 10 next week after picking up a key road victory in Mountain West play.

UP NEXT

San Diego State: At Wyoming on Wednesday night.

Utah State: At Air Force on Tuesday night.

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More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP\_Top25

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