by: Wade Denniston, USU Athletic Media Relations
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Behind a career-high 22 points from redshirt junior guard Marco Anthony, Utah State closed out its stay at the Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic with a come-from-behind 82-71 victory over Northern Iowa on Saturday afternoon at the Sanford Pentagon.
Anthony paced four different Aggies in double-figure scoring. Freshman guard Rollie Worster added 17 points, while junior forward Justin Bean and junior center Neemias Queta each recorded a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds apiece, respectively.
Utah State went 1-2 in the tournament, while Northern Iowa leaves the inaugural classic still searching for its first victory of the season.
Down 55-47 with 14:12 remaining in the second half, a jumper by Worster ignited a game-changing 20-4 run that gave the Aggies the lead for good against the Panthers. UNI was led in scoring by AJ Green, who had 24 points, including 14 in the second half alone.
James Betz and Bowen Born each added 14 points for UNI.
Utah State outrebounded Northern Iowa 43-33 and has outrebounded every opponent this season. All-time, the Aggies are 53-10 under third-year head coach Craig Smith when outrebounding the opposition.
The Aggies started the game strong and opened an eight-point lead with 14:29 to go in the first half, but the Panthers went into the break with a 40-39 advantage.
Utah State shot 46.4 percent from the field (26-of-56), including 41.2 percent from 3-point range (7-of-17), and 74.2 percent from the free throw line (23-of-31). The 23 made free throws and 31 attempted were a season high for the Aggies.
Defensively, Utah State limited Northern Iowa to 36.2 percent shooting from the field (25-of-69), including 37.8 percent from beyond the arc (14-of-37). The Panthers only went to the charity stripe nine times on the afternoon, making seven (77.8 percent).
Besides his double-double, Queta also had four blocks – double the amount UNI had as a team. The 7-foot, 245-pound native of Barreiro, Portugal, has recorded at least one block in 15 of the last 16 games, dating back to last season, and has notched multiple blocks in 35 games in his career.
USU jumped out to an 8-2 lead less than three minutes in. The Aggies pushed it to 13-5 following a 3-pointer by Anthony at the 14:29 mark, but the Panthers used a 13-2 run to take their first lead of the game.
A 3-ball by freshman guard Max Shulga capped a mini 5-0 run by Utah State, which pushed the Aggies back on top, 20-18.
Utah State opens the home portion of its schedule when the Aggies welcome in-state rival BYU (2-0) to the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum on Saturday, Dec. 5. A tip time has yet to be announced.
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