LOGAN, Utah — Brock Miller scored a career-high 27 points and No. 17 Utah State cruised to a 97-56 victory over Denver on Tuesday night.
Alphonso Anderson added 15 points and Sam Merrill had 14. Justin Bean led the Aggies with 15 rebounds.
The Aggies (3-0) jumped out to an 18-5 lead over the first five minutes. Miller scored Utah State’s first eight points, hitting two 3s and a jumper.
During the opening nine minutes of the game, the Aggies were especially stingy on defense. After David Nzekwesi scored Denver’s first three points of the game on a three-point play, Utah State allowed just four points over the next eight minutes. Over that time, the Aggies went on a 28-4 run. Utah State’s defense forced Denver to 36% shooting from the field and just 13% from beyond the arc. The Aggies also forced six turnovers in the first half.
Utah State’s defense was equally as good after the halftime break, holding Denver to just five points in the first seven minutes of the final half.
Ade Murkey led Denver (1-2) with 14 points.
POLL WATCH: Utah State remained at the No. 17 spot in the Associated Press poll after starting the season 2-0 with an 81-73 win against Montana State to open the season and an 89-34 route against in-state school Weber State. The No. 17 ranking the third-highest AP ranking in school history and the Aggies’ highest ranking since the 1970-71 season.
Utah State: The Aggies improve to 3-0 on the season with another win at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. Utah State again played without sophomore center Neemias Queta as he continues to recover from a knee injury. Starting in his place was Kuba Karwowski.
Denver: The Pioneers, coming off of a 74-62 win against WAC school Utah Valley University, fell to 1-2 on the season. Utah State held Denver to season lows in points scored, field goal percentage and 3-point percentage.
Utah State: The Aggies continue a seven-game homestand to open the season, taking on North Carolina A&T at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum on Friday.
Denver: The Pioneers head back home to play Western Colorado on Saturday at the Hamilton Gymnasium.