Utah State head coach Tim Duryea
"The best defensive performance since I took over. Considering the competition and importance of the game for our path, it was an A+ defensive performance for 40 minutes. A lot of guys did a lot of things but the job Sam Merrill did on Marcus Marshall, I didn't think was possible. I was hoping for 12-13 points, he's the league's leading scorer. Shane (Rector) guarded him for a few possessions while Sam got some rest. It starts there. Those guys did a great job. Jalen (Moore) and Alex (Dargenton) on the boards, 28 rebounds between them. That went a long ways to not giving them second opportunities. Norbie (Janicek) had a tough matchup with Cameron Oliver. He stayed disciplined. Oliver hit a few shots on him but he stuck with it and did a fairly good job. They are a talented group and a hard group to guard. The percentages that we held them to, that tells the story of the game."
On Koby McEwen...
"A freshman that gets 26 against Nevada, and you don't even talk about him, that's probably taking him for granted a little bit. Twenty-six points, 12 shots, he turned it over a couple of times where he got a little careless in a hurry but he makes tough shots, big shots. Sam (Merrill) too, he made the shot of the game. The shot clock is going down, we don't have a lot going, the game is turning and he makes a 3 to put us back up 10."
Freshman guard Koby McEwen
"We really guarded them. Sam (Merrill) did a good job containing the leading scorer in the league. That's the biggest reason why we won the game. We got stops on the defensive end. We prepped how they like to guard us on offense, we were moving the ball, hitting shots in the second half. It worked out for us pretty well."
On the defense...
"We played our defensive roles. We try to hold guys to certain standards like Fenner, Caroline and Oliver, we try to slow them down, they are good players. After that, we rebounded. Jalen (Moore) had 15 rebounds, Alex (Dargenton) had 13 that's the biggest reason why we did so well defensively."
Senior wing Jalen Moore
"We played really hard. The first half was really close, the second half we kind of blew it open a little bit. We were able to maintain a lead. It feels good to get two wins in a row and now we get to go play the second-place team. Winning tonight shows that we can play with anybody and beat anybody. It was a huge confidence boost for us, we needed that. We're playing well right now, we want to keep that going."
On rebounding well...
"We played two guys that average nine and a half rebounds each. We knew that our bigs would really have to box them out. Coach said 'let's have a wing get most rebounds tonight.' I was just trying to get a lot of rebounds tonight. Alex (Dargenton) did a good job of boxing his guy out and going to get the ball. That was huge for us, we didn't give them a lot of second chance opportunities. That really helped us tonight. We rebounded the ball really well."
Nevada head coach Eric Musselman
“You have to give Utah State a ton of credit. They’re crowd got into it. I thought Utah State was phenomenal in the second half. Marcus (Marshall) couldn’t get going at all. We were stagnant on offense and played our worst game of the year and played on the road against a team that has a lot of talent. Their record does not indicate who they are at all. (Koby) McEwen is a phenomenal freshman and I thought Merrill played unbelievable defense on Marcus tonight.”
Nevada senior guard D.J. Fenner
“I just don’t thing we came to play tonight. I don’t think everybody was focused. We just didn’t have the same vibe in the locker room before the game. We have to do some self-checking again and see what we can do in the second half of conference play.”
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