Utah State men's basketball led start to finish in a 69-56 victory over Idaho State on Friday night on day two of the World Vision Classic. The win moves the Aggies to 6-4 on the year and sets the table for the championship game against South Dakota State on Saturday night with both teams sporting 2-0 tournament records.
USU continued its 50-game winning streak in regular season tournaments where it serves as the host with the victory and ran a winning streak against Idaho State to 15 games.
Utah State opened the game with back-to-back threes by junior guard Darius Perkins and sophomore wing Jalen Moore to take a 6-0 lead. Perkins hit another long-range bucket seconds later as the Aggies began the game 3-for-4 from behind the 3-point arc and captured their first double-digit lead, 12-2, five minutes into the contest. The Bengals only came within four points of the Aggies during the opening half with the home side taking a 30-24 lead into the break.
Idaho State whittled the margin to within one, 35-34, early in the second half after opening the final stanza with a 10-5 run. Back-to-back free throws by Moore ended the push and began a seven-point run by the Aggies that put USU back up 42-34 with 11:29 on the clock. Utah State extended the margin to double digits, 47-36, on a layup by sophomore guard JoJo McGlaston — two of his career-high 14 points on the night. The gap widened to 17, 63-46, on a 3-point bucket by McGlaston with 2:27 to play with the Aggies cruising the rest of the way for the 69-56 final.
McGlaston was one of four Aggies in double figures, joining Moore with a career-high 20 and redshirt freshman forward David Collette and Perkins with 13 apiece. Utah State shot 43.8 percent (21-of-48) from the field, 38.1 percent (8-of-21) from deep and a season-high 79.2 percent (19-of-24) at the charity stripe for the win.
Idaho State was led by redshirt senior center Ajak Magot with 12 points, and he was followed by senior forward Jeffrey Solarin with a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds. Idaho State out-rebounded Utah State, 45-27, including 23 offensive rebounds, turning in 19 second-chance points. Overall, ISU shot 35.0 percent (21-of-60) from the floor, a season-low 6.7 percent (1-of-15) from behind the 3-point line and 68.4 percent (13-of-19) from the free-throw line.
Utah State plays South Dakota State for the World Vision Classic championship Saturday at 8:05 p.m. MT, with live stats and live video online. Idaho State faces CSU Bakersfield in the third place game set to tip at 5:30 p.m. MT.
Kyle Cottam is the Assistant Athletic Director for Media Relations at Utah State University.