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Colorado State basketball upsets Utah State, handing Aggies first Mountain West loss

Fort Collins Coloradoan logo Fort Collins Coloradoan 1/22/2021 Kevin Lytle, Fort Collins Coloradoan
Utah State guard Rollie Worster, right, steals the ball from Colorado State guard Isaiah Stevens (4) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021, in Logan, Utah. © Eli Lucero/The Herald Journal via AP Utah State guard Rollie Worster, right, steals the ball from Colorado State guard Isaiah Stevens (4) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021, in Logan, Utah.

Massive win.

Colorado State basketball's upset of Utah State on the road Thursday night opens up a number of possibilities for the Rams.

CSU took down the Aggies 84-76 in Logan, Utah in a late-night showdown.

The game gives the Rams a split of the two-game series at the back-to-back Mountain West tournament champions.

It will be a Quad 1 victory for CSU, a vital piece of an NCAA tournament resume. The Rams now have two huge road wins this season, this one and the 26-point comeback at defending Mountain West regular season champion San Diego State.

CSU (11-3, 8-2 MW) is now still firmly in the mix to challenge for a Mountain West title as well. The Rams are third just behind Utah State (12-4, 9-1 MW) and two behind Boise State (13-1, 9-0 MW) in the loss column. The Broncos play two at CSU next week.

Utah State is nearly unbeatable at home, entering the game 21-2 in the last three seasons in Logan against MW opponents. That included a 19-point win over the Rams on Tuesday.

The Rams righted a lot of the wrongs that led to that lopsided loss. Most importantly, Neemias Queta struggled and was in foul-trouble and had to sit for about 6-straight minutes in the middle of the second half. He finished with 13 points, five rebounds and three assists. 

CSU's biggest flaw Tuesday may have been not matching the championship intensity of the champs. The Rams righted that and were stalwart defensively.

The first-half spark for CSU came from the bench, with Dischon Thomas getting things going. The sophomore hit three 3-pointers to get CSU's offense going and he ended with a vital 15 points.

CSU's best players then did what they had to do to secure the second-half win. David Roddy battle foul trouble all night, but had a key offensive board to setup an Adam Thistlewood 3-pointer as the Rams made the decisive run. He ended with 15 points, seven rebounds and four assists. 

Isaiah Stevens had 18 points, eight assists, seven rebounds and four assists.

Kendle Moore only hit one 3-pointer, but it was a key one in the back end of the second half and he scored 16 points to go with four rebounds, four assists and two steals.

CSU shot 50% for the game and held Utah State to 42% and just 26% (8-31) from 3-point land. Utah State only won the rebounding battle by one (34-33) after a 19-rebound edge Tuesday. 

CSU has played arguably its two toughest series' (at San Diego State and at Utah State) and earned splits in both. 

Another big test awaits, but this one was huge.

Check back to Coloradoan.com/sports for more on the game soon.

Follow Kevin Lytle at twitter.com/Kevin_Lytle and at facebook.com/KevinSLytle. Coloradoan sports can also be followed on Twitter. Support his work and that of other Coloradoan journalists by purchasing a digital subscription today.

This article originally appeared on Fort Collins Coloradoan: Colorado State basketball upsets Utah State, handing Aggies first Mountain West loss

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