LOGAN, Utah - Utah State men’s basketball saw a five-game home winning streak snapped on Wednesday night as the Aggies lost 84-75 to Colorado State. The loss moves USU to 10-8 overall and 3-2 in league play, while the Rams evened their record at 9-9, including a 2-3 mark in the Mountain West.
Sophomore guard Sam Merrill led three Aggies in double figures with a team-best 18 points, following by redshirt freshman forward Daron Henson with 12 and sophomore guard Koby McEwen with 11. McEwen also led Utah State on the glass, finishing with seven rebounds, while Merrill finished a career-high-tying three steals.
USU opened the game with easy baskets by Alex Dargenton as the senior forward recorded his team-best ninth dunk of the season followed by a layup off of a pass from junior forward Dwayne Brown Jr. The ease of the Utah State offense prompted a timeout by Colorado State and the Rams answered with back-to-back baskets. The teams then traded the lead over the next 12 minutes, but CSU closed the final four minutes of the half on a 13-4 run to take a 41-31 lead into the half.
The run continued for the Rams into the second half, starting the final period on a 17-5 run and taking a 58-36 lead with 14:51 to play. The Aggies countered with the first of three big runs during the second half, pulling to within 12 (60-48) behind free throws by Henson with 10:25 to play, capping the 10-0 swing.
A 3-point basket and layup by sophomore guard Diogo Brito, followed by another trey by McEwen finished an 8-0 run by the Aggies minutes later, pulling the home side to within 10, 66-56, with 6:01 on the clock. However, Colorado State answered with back-to-back triples by Prentiss Nixon, who led the Rams with a game-high 26 points, keeping the lead in double digits. An offensive rebound by Brown off of a McEwen miss at the free throw line with 27 seconds put him at the free throw line with 22 seconds, and Brown connected on a one of two, leading to the 84-75 final.
Nixon was followed by Che Bob with 19 points and a double-double performance by Nico Carvacho with 10 points and 15 rebounds. Nixon also led the Rams with a game-high four steals.
Utah State finished the game shooting 42.1 percent (24-of-57) from the floor, 34.4 percent (11-of-32) from behind the 3-point line and 61.5 percent (16-of-26) at the free throw line. Colorado State shot 46.3 percent (25-of-54) from the floor, 44.4 percent (8-of-18) from behind the 3-point line and 78.8 percent (26-of-33) at the free throw line.
The Aggies will be back in action on Saturday, traveling to Reno, Nev., to face Nevada (15-3/4-0 MW) at 6 p.m. (MT).
Utah State men’s basketball news and information is available on Facebook (facebook.com/usumen’sbasketball) and on Twitter (@usubasketball). Fans can also get USU men’s basketball highlights on YouTube (youtube.com/utahstateathletics). Aggie fans can follow the Utah State athletic program on Twitter (@usuathletics), on Facebook (facebook.com/usuathletics) or on Instagram (@usuathletics).
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