by Kalen Taylor, USU Athletic Media Relations
BOISE, Idaho - Utah State men's basketball (10-12/4-7 MW) dropped a close contest on the road Saturday night falling 72-20 to Boise State (15-7/8-3 MW).
Freshman guard Sam Merrill and redshirt sophomore forward Alex Dargenton both led the Aggies with 14 points apiece. Merrill was also a perfect 4-of-4 from the free-throw line while the 14 points tied a career high for Dargenton.
Jalen Moore had four points which snapped his 34-game streak of scoring in double figures, the seventh-longest such streak in Utah State history. However, Moore moved to No. 13 on the all-time scoring list with 1,474 points just ahead of Dean Hunger (1977-80) who has 1,472 career points.
The Broncos started off the game with a quick 23-11 run but the Aggies came back and took a 31-29 lead from a Quinn Taylor rebound and putback with 4:26 to go in the half. Foul trouble plagued the Aggies during the game and both Moore and freshman guard Koby McEwen had to sit for extended time during the first half. Even with the top scorers on the bench, USU went into the break tied 33-33.
Three minutes into the second half, Utah State took a 39-35 lead after two Merrill free throws, however the lead wouldn't last. Boise State used an 18-10 run over a five-minute period to grab its largest lead of the game 66-56 with 3:33 to play. USU clawed back again and Julion Pearre, who had a season high 11 points off the bench, netted back-to-back layups to cut the deficit to 70-66 with 25 seconds to play.
Dargenton got two more quick layups but the late heroics weren't enough and the Broncos slipped past the Aggies to get the win, 72-70.
Junior guard Chandler Hutchinson led BSU in scoring with 18 points, he also grabbed a team-high six rebounds. Sophomore guard Paris Austin had 16 points off the bench and sophomore forward David Wacker was the other Bronco in double figures with 11 points.
The Aggies finished the game shooting 40.7 percent (24-of-59), including 41.7 percent (5-of-12) from behind the 3-point line and 70.8 percent (17-of-24) from the foul line.
Boise State shot 46.4 percent (26-of-56), 30.0 percent (6-of-20) from deep and 60.9 percent (14-of-23) from the charity stripe.
Next up, Utah State takes on third-place Colorado State (15-9, 7-4) on Tuesday inside Moby Arena in Fort Collins, Colo. The game will be broadcast on ROOT Sports and the tip is set for 7 p.m. (MT).
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 @USUBasketball. 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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