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No. 13 Colorado State visits Utah State in clash of 13-1 teams

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Utah State puts a 12-game winning streak on the line Saturday when it hosts No. 13 Colorado State in a Mountain West heavyweight clash in Logan, Utah.

The Aggies (13-1, 1-0) started conference play on Tuesday with an 88-60 win at Air Force.

The Rams (13-1, 1-0) snapped New Mexico’s 11-game winning streak with a 76-68 win at home.

Colorado State’s Isaiah Stevens eclipsed 2,000 career points in that game with 18, giving him 2,007.

“We know it’s a new season,” Stevens said of the start of the league schedule. “We have a lot of guys that it might be their first time stepping into this, and you understand the Mountain West is extremely deep this year.

“Being able to protect (home court), which is what we say all the time, especially to start conference play, is just huge for us.”

Utah State’s Great Osobor scored a career-high 32 points, grabbed nine rebounds and matched his career high with four assists in the win at Air Force.

Osobor has now scored at least 20 points in five games this season.

“All credit to my team and coaching staff because they stayed with me,” Osobor said. “Even when I’m not playing my best, they know what I’m capable of.”

Mason Falslev added 18 points and Ian Martinez scored 17.

Utah State coach Danny Sprinkle started the game with a different starting five from the previous games.

Sprinkle opted to move center Isaac Johnson, who started all but one game this year, to a bench role and brought Josh Uduje back into the starting five for the first time in seven games.

The change meant a four-guard lineup with Darius Brown, Martinez, Falslev and Uduje to go with Osobor at forward/center.

Sprinkle explained that mostly had to do with the matchups, as Air Force fields a lineup of players between 6-foot-4 and 6-7.

“I was proud of our guys, the way they responded,” said Sprinkle, whose team shot 63.3 percent (31 of 49) from the field, while Air Force shot 43.8 percent (21 of 48).

Utah State is 11-0 when shooting better from the field than its opponent.

In Colorado State’s win over New Mexico, Patrick Cartier scored a game-high 21 points including 8-of-12 shooting from the field with two 3-pointers.

“We’re looking to play through him a lot in our offense,” Stevens said of Cartier. “He makes a lot of decisions for us, and more times than not, he’s making the right one.

“He can finish, can shoot the 3 and has a great feel for when to get it off.”

The Rams finished with a rebounding edge of 38-29 against New Mexico.

Nique Clifford pulled down 10 rebounds for his third double-double of the season to go with his 12 points.

Colorado State has won four of the last six games in its series with Utah State, although the Aggies won 88-79 in the last matchup between the teams last February at Fort Collins, Colo.

–Field Level Media

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