ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) Nelly Joseph scored a season-high 26 points, Donovan Dent had 15 points and a career-high 14 assists, and New Mexico beat No. 16 Utah State 99-86 on Tuesday night for its second straight victory over a ranked opponent.

The Lobos (15-3, 3-2 Mountain West) had six players in double figures. Jaelen House added 14 points to help New Mexico end a seven-game losing streak to the Aggies.

New Mexico was coming off a victory over then-No. 19 San Diego State on Saturday.

“Donovan again, and those middle ball screens, he was finding guys,” New Mexico coach Richard Pitino said. “Fourteen assists is pretty amazing. I thought offensively we were about as good as it gets and as efficient as we’ve been all year.”

Ian Martinez scored 22 points and Mason Falsey had 19, but Utah State (16-2, 4-1) had its 15-game winning streak snapped.

New Mexico steadily pulled away in the first half, with the largest runs being 9-2 early and 7-1 later. The only area where the Lobos did not dominate was on the boards, where Utah State held a 17-12 edge, including 8-2 on the offensive glass.

“I thought Jaelen House controlled the game defensively,” Aggies coach Danny Sprinkle said. “Completely disrupted everything. And I thought Donovan Dent controlled the game offensively with his ball screen offense.”

The Lobos pushed the lead to 64-44 three minutes into the second half before the Aggies rallied behind Martinez, who scored all the points in a 14-2 run that trimmed the deficit to 73-62.

Utah State cut it to 79-72 before New Mexico pushed the lead back to 85-72 and the lead remained in double digits the rest of the way.

Despite going 2 for 9 on 3-pointers, the Lobos still shot 65% in the first half (20 for 31) and were the first team to top 50 in a half against the Aggies. New Mexico finished shooting 57% for the game.

Utah State missed all seven of its 3-pointers in the first half and was 12 of 28 overall from the floor.

Joseph made 11 of his 12 shots, helping New Mexico score 62 points in the paint.

“It certainly helped that Nelly was able to score down there,” Pitino said. “He obviously hasn’t shown an 11-for-12 night. I think that gave us some confidence to have that balance.”

JT Toppin finished with 12 points for the Lobos, shooting 5 for 6.

“I think their bigs punked us,” Sprinkle said. “They scored 62 points in the paint. You can tell they were trying to throw it in there from the jump. I thought Toppin and Joseph were tremendous.”


With Utah State falling and Boise State also losing Tuesday, it has created a logjam of four teams atop the conference standings with one loss apiece.

New Mexico beat ranked teams in consecutive home games, the first time that has happened since 1993, and pulled the Lobos within a loss of the league leaders.


New Mexico beat ranked teams in consecutive game for the first time since 1993.

“It’s great for our program to get back-to-back wins against ranked teams,” Pitino said. “That’s special.”


The Aggies are home to Fresno State on Saturday.

New Mexico is at Air Force on Saturday.


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