LARAMIE, Wyo. – Utah State men’s basketball (8-8, 2-3 Mountain West) lost to Wyoming (12-5, 2-2 Mountain West) on the road Wednesday night, 95-87. The loss was the seventh straight to the Cowboys in Laramie as Wyoming opened the first half with 12 3-point shots.
Senior wing Jalen Moore scored in double figures for his 29th consecutive game with 20 points and moved to No. 15 on the all-time scoring list with 1,399 career points. Moore also collected five rebounds and had one assist and one steal. Freshman guard Koby McEwen had 15 points, four rebounds, three assists and a career-high-tying two steals. Freshman guard Sam Merrill rounded out the double-digit scorers with 14.
The Aggies and Cowboys traded baskets to start the game, but Wyoming hit back-to-back buckets to lead 10-4 with 17:30 remaining. Wyoming led by as many as seven before McEwen responded with a triple and a layup to bring the Aggies back to within two, 15-13, with 14:46 left to play in the first half. Treys from senior guard Shane Rector and junior forward Ngor Barnaba gave USU its only lead of the night, 22-21, with 12:17 remaining.
The Cowboys responded with a 16-5 run, leading 37-27 with 8:09 to play in the first. A couple of layups from McEwen and Moore cut it to 37-31 with 7:19 remaining in the first half. Wyoming maintained the lead, leading by 12, 46-34, with 3:46 remaining in the first. Sophomore forward Quinn Taylor answered with a dunk to cut the lead back down to 10, 46-36, with about three and a half minutes to play in the first. Wyoming closed out the half on an 11-3 run to lead 57-39 going into the break. The Cowboys hit 12 threes (12-of-18) in the first, the most allowed in an entire game by the Aggies this season.
Redshirt sophomore Alexis Dargenton opened the second half with a trey to bring the Aggies within 15, 57-42, with 19:38 left to play. Wyoming, however, maintained the lead, getting its largest lead of 22, 70-48, with 15:46 remaining. The Aggies gained momentum and went on a 10-0 run sparked by a layup from Taylor followed by a couple of free throws from Moore, a jumper from Dargenton, an and-1 by McEwen and a technical free throw from Moore, to cut it to 72-60 with 12:19 to play.
The Cowboys kept the Aggies at a distance, but a couple of dunks from Moore and Dargenton brought Utah State within 13, 80-67, with 7:15 remaining. Layups from Moore and Merrill made it an eight-point game, 89-81, with a minute and a half left to play. Merrill knocked down a three with 51 seconds left to trim the lead 92-85 with 52 seconds left. Wyoming, however, went on to win 95-87.
Wyoming had five players score in double figures with junior forward Hayden Dalton leading with 19 and junior guard Alexander Aka Gorski with 18, shooting 6-of-10 from behind the 3-point line. Redshirt junior forward Alan Herndon followed with 15, redshirt senior guard Jason McManamen with 11 and redshirt freshman guard Cody Kelley with 10. Kelley and Dalton each dished out six assists, Herndon led with 10 rebounds and four blocks, and Kelley and sophomore guard Justin James each led with two steals.
Utah State finished the game shooting 50.8 percent (32-of-63), including 34.8 percent (8-of-23) from behind the arc, while shooting 62.5 percent (15-of-24) from the free throw line. Wyoming shot 50 percent (30-of-60) from the floor, 46.4 percent (13-of-28) from behind the 3-point line and 75.9 percent (22-of-29) from the free throw line.
USU will next face San Diego State (9-7, 1-3 Mountain West) on Saturday at Viejas Arena. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. (MT) and will be televised on ESPN3.
For Aggie basketball ticket information, fans can contact the USU Athletics Ticket Office over the phone by calling 1-888-USTATE-1 or 435-797-0305 during regular hours of operation. Fans can also buy their tickets in person at the USU Ticket Office inside the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum or online by clicking on the “Buy Tickets” tab at www.UtahStateAggies.com.
Utah State men’s basketball news and information is available on Facebook facebook.com/USUmen’sbasketball and on Twitter @Aggiehoops. Fans can also get USU men’s basketball highlights on YouTube at youtube.com/UtahStateAthletics. Aggie fans can follow the Utah State athletic program at Twitter @USUAthletics, on Facebook at facebook.com/USUAthletics, or on Instagram @USUAthletics.
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