SACRAMENTO — Utah State’s misery in the first round of the NCAA Tournament continued Thursday, as the cold-shooting Aggies fell 76-65 to the Missouri Tigers at Golden 1 Center.

Utah State led 51-49 after a 10-4 run midway through the second half, but Mizzou answered with a 7-0 run to regain control and held off the Aggies from there to advance to the second round.

Utah State (26-9) has now lost nine straight NCAA Tournament games and hasn’t won in the Big Dance since 2001.

Missouri improved to 25-9 and was led by D’Moi Hodge, who had 23 points on 8 of 14 shooting.

Here are 3 keys to Utah State’s early exit in March Madness:

• When the game was on the line in the second half, Missouri’s Kobe Brown took over, scoring 12 straight points for his squad to carry the Tigers to the victory. He finished with 19.

• Utah State lived by the 3-pointer all season, but died by it Thursday in its first trip back to the NCAAs since 2020. Utah State was 4 of 24 (16.7%) from deep, while Missouri was 10 of 25 (40.0%).

• The Aggies missed their first 13 3-point attempts before Steven Ashworth came up with a steal and drained one with 17:52 left in the second half to give USU a 36-35 lead, just its second lead of the game.

In the first half, USU was 0 of 10 from beyond the arc and 13 of 17 from inside the 3-point line.

Taylor Funk led USU with 16 points, while Ashworth and Dan Akin had 12 apiece.