EditorsNote: Shortened headline; Fix spacing issue after story; Minor word change from ‘in’ to ‘for’ in 4th graf
Alphonso Anderson scored 21 points off the bench, and Justin Bean added 18, as the No. 17 Utah State Aggies defeated the North Carolina A&T Aggies, 81-54, on Friday night in Logan, Utah.
Utah State (4-0) was pushed hard by North Carolina A&T (1-3) in the first several minutes of the second half but regrouped to pull away for a comfortable victory.
Utah State led 38-23 at halftime and seemed well on its way to a drama-free night, but North Carolina A&T briefly offered genuine resistance. The visitors outscored Utah State 13-4 in the first six minutes of the second half to cut a 15-point halftime deficit to six, at 42-36, with 14 minutes left in regulation.
Then Utah State upheld its top-25 ranking by restoring order for the remainder of the game. USU scored nine points in the next 1:46 to extend its lead back to 15 at 51-36 with 12:14 to go.
The two Aggies treaded water for the next three 1/2 minutes. Utah State led 61-45 with 8:40 left, comfortably ahead but not yet able to land a decisive knockout punch.
The next four minutes took care of that.
Utah State locked down N.C. A&T by holding the visitors to only two points in the next 4:07. A 10-2 run in that span of time gave USU a 71-47 lead with 4:33 left.
Utah State finished the night 29 of 52 from the field, nearly 56 percent. North Carolina A&T finished 21 of 60, at 35 percent. Utah State outscored N.C. A&T by 13 points at the free-throw line, 18-5.
Anderson, a forward, has been a key cog in Utah State’s lineup as a reserve this season. The junior sixth man has scored 13 or more points in three games this season. His 21 points were a season high.
Ronald Jackson scored 15 points for North Carolina A&T. Fred Cleveland Jr. finished with 14.
—Field Level Media