FRESNO, Calif. - With the game on the line, redshirt freshman forward Daron Henson drained a long-range three with .7 seconds left on the clock to seal the 65-62 USU victory over Fresno State on Saturday night at the Save Mart Center.
Henson led Utah State (12-11, 5-5 MW) with a career-high 18 points, all of which came from behind the arc as the forward was 6-of-7 from 3-point land. Sophomore guard Koby McEwen dished out a career-high seven assists, along with nine points, six boards and a career-high-tying two steals. Junior forward Dwayne Brown Jr. had 13 points, five rebounds, two assists and a steal. Sophomore guard Sam Merrill had 11 points, five rebounds, one assist and a block.
Utah State did not miss a shot in the first four minutes of the game with threes from Merrill, sophomore guard Diogo Brito and Brown and a jumper from Brown to put the Aggies up 11-7 with 16:34 left to play. After a couple of triples from Henson and junior forward Quinn Taylor put the Aggies up eight, 18-10, with 11:48 on the clock, Fresno State used a 6-0 run to make it a two-point game, 18-16, with 10:26 to go. USU responded with a Henson three and a bucket from senior forward Alex Dargenton to put the Aggies ahead, 23-16, with 9:09 to go. A trio of treys from McEwen and Henson gave the Aggies the nine-point advantage, 34-25, with 3:19 remaining. Utah State would continue to maintain the lead, heading into the break ahead 39-31.
In the first half, the Aggies knocked down nine shots from behind the arc, while also dishing out 12 assists on 14 made field goals.
After a couple of Merrill buckets, the Bulldogs were able to tie it up at 43 with 14:08 to go. The game remained tight as the teams traded buckets, and the Bulldogs once regained the lead, 54-53, with 7:18 to. Free throws from McEwen and Merrill put the Aggies back up three, 57-54, with 6:36 remaining. After a McEwen trey put USU up 62-59 with 4:07 to go, neither team would score until the final minute. Fresno State tied the game up with a three, 62-62, with 46 seconds to go. After a missed jumper by McEwen, Taylor was able to collect the offensive board for another Aggie possession. With the clock winding down, McEwen found an open Henson who buried the three with .7 seconds on the clock to secure the 65-62 victory.
Fresno State (15-7, 5-4 MW) was led by senior guard Jahmel Taylor with 15 points, along with two rebounds, two assists and a steal. Senior guard Jaron Hopkins had 11 points and 11 boards, as well as four assists. Sophomore forward Bryson Williams had 13 points, six rebounds, three assists and two blocks. Senior guard Ray Bowles Jr. had 12 points, two assists and a rebound.
Utah State finished the game shooting 44.2 percent (23-of-52) from the floor, 48.1 percent (13-of-27) from behind the 3-point line and 60.0 percent (6-of-10) at the free throw line. Fresno State shot 44.9 percent (22-of-49) from the floor, 36.8 percent (7-of-19) from behind the 3-point line and 57.9 percent (11-of-19) at the free throw line.
Utah State returns to the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum on Wednesday when it takes on New Mexico (10-11, 5-3 MW) at 7 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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