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Rector leads Utah St. past Wyoming, 88-70, in MWC tournament

Shane Rector scored 24, and Jalen Moore scored 19 with nine rebounds and five assists to help ninth-seeded Utah State beat No. 8 seed Wyoming 88-70 Wednesday in the first round of the Mountain West Conference tournament at Thomas & Mack Center.

Chris Smith added 20 points, including four 3s, and Julion Pearre scored 14 for Utah State, which will face top-seeded San Diego State (23-8) in the quarterfinals Thursday.

The Aggies (16-14) scored the first eight points, before back-to-back 3-pointers by Rector and Smith gave the Aggies their biggest lead, 41-16, with 6:28 left in the first half.

Utah State shot 57.6 percent from the field, including 7 of 12 (58.3 percent) from 3-point range, in the first half and took a 47-30 lead into the break.

Jason McManamen scored seven points during an 11-0 run by Wyoming (14-18), before five-consecutive points by Alan Herndon trimmed the Cowboys’ deficit to 63-56 with 9:46 left, but they would get no closer.

McManamen led Wyoming with 23 points.

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