Facebook Twitter

New Mexico beats No. 16 Utah State 99-86 for second straight victory over ranked team

SHARE New Mexico beats No. 16 Utah State 99-86 for second straight victory over ranked team
New Mexico guard Jamal Mashburn Jr. passes the ball as Utah State guard Mason Falslev defends during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2024, in Albuquerque, N.M.

New Mexico guard Jamal Mashburn Jr. passes the ball as Utah State guard Mason Falslev defends during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2024, in Albuquerque, N.M.

Eric Draper, Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Nelly Joseph scored a season-high 26 points, Donovan Dent had 15 points and a career-high 14 assists, and New Mexico beat No. 16 Utah State 99-86 on Tuesday night for its second straight victory over a ranked opponent.

The Lobos (15-3, 3-2 Mountain West) had six players in double figures. Jaelen House added 14 points to help New Mexico end a seven-game losing streak to the Aggies.

New Mexico was coming off a victory over then-No. 19 San Diego State on Saturday.

Ian Martinez scored 22 points and Mason Falslev had 19, but Utah State (16-2, 4-1) had its 15-game winning streak snapped.

New Mexico steadily pulled away in the first half, with the largest runs being 9-2 early and 7-1 later. The only area where the Lobos did not dominate was on the boards, where Utah State held a 17-12 edge, including 8-2 on the offensive glass.

The Lobos pushed the lead to 64-44 three minutes into the second half before the Aggies rallied behind Martinez, who scored all the points in a 14-2 run that trimmed the deficit to 73-62.

Utah State cut it to 79-72 before New Mexico pushed the lead back to 85-72 and the lead remained in double digits the rest of the way.

Despite going 2 for 9 on 3-pointers, the Lobos still shot 65% in the first half (20 for 31) and were the first team to top 50 in a half against the Aggies.

Utah State missed all seven of its 3-pointers in the first half and was 12 of 28 overall from the floor.

New Mexico won the first-half turnover battle 9-2, including eight steals, turning that into an 18-2 scoring advantage.

BIG PICTURE:

With Utah State falling and Boise State also losing Tuesday, it has created a logjam of four teams atop the conference standings with one loss apiece.

New Mexico beat ranked teams in consecutive home games, the first time that has happened since 1993, and pulled the Lobos within a loss of the league leaders.

UP NEXT:

The Aggies are home to Fresno State on Saturday.

New Mexico is at Air Force on Saturday.