Denver • Utah State’s eight active players fought to make it close at the finish, but defensive struggles and the absences of two of their best players sealed the Aggies’ fate on Saturday evening.
Denver knocked around Utah State for a 68-57 defeat, one in which the Pioneers were nearly flawless in their offensive execution. Hitting from deep but also cutting in hard for backdoor layups, Denver knocked a banged-up Aggies squad flat, dealing them their second straight loss.
Utah State was playing without starters Preston Medlin and Kyisean Reed, who were nursing injuries. The talent disparity was apparent early, as the Aggies trailed by as much as 22.
Eventually Utah State made a late run to make the game interesting. Led by Marvin Jean, who made four 3-pointers, the Aggies shot well with the opportunities they got. Jean finished with 14 poinst, and Jarred Shaw had 10.
Unfortunately, Denver shot better. The Pioneers were 56.5 percent from the field and went 10 for 19 from beyond the arc. Brett Olson had a game-high 18 points.