LOGAN, Utah – Fueled by 23 points and five assists from sophomore guard Koby McEwen, Utah State rallied for a 71-65 upset victory over Mountain West-leading Boise State in front of 8,421 fans on Saturday night at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
McEwen shot an efficient 9-of-14 from the field (64.3 percent), including 5-of-9 from 3-point range (55.6 percent), to help the Aggies (14-12, 7-6 MW) snap the Broncos’ four-game winning streak.
Boise State’s Chandler Hutchison led all scorers in the game with 28 points, to go along with six rebounds. Lexus Williams and Chris Sengfelder added 12 points apiece for the Broncos (20-5, 10-3 MW), who entered the night a half-game ahead of Nevada.
However, the Wolf Pack (21-5, 10-2 MW) beat San Diego State 83-58 earlier in the day and took over the top spot in the league by the end of the night thanks to the Aggies’ victory over Boise State.
McEwen led four Aggies in double figures as sophomore guard Diogo Brito added a career-high 16 points, while fellow sophomore guard Sam Merrill had 12, including 10 in the second half alone. Junior forward Dwayne Brown Jr. contributed 10 points and a team-high six rebounds.
Merrill gave Utah State the lead for good when he connected on a 3-pointer from the right wing to make it 54-52 with 4:55 remaining in the game. Boise State never got closer than two point the rest of the way.
The Aggies didn’t take their first lead until the 12-minute mark of the second half on a dunk by McEwen. Junior guard DeAngelo Isby set up the go-ahead basket with a steal on the defensive end and nifty pass to McEwen.
Just five seconds prior, Merrill tied the game at 45-all with a left-handed layup, whipping the Spectrum crowd into a frenzy.
The Broncos led by as many as eight points in the first half and were ahead 34-27 at intermission. Utah State opened the final 20 minutes of play on a 22-11 run, which included the Merrill layup and McEwen slam and capped by another layup from Merrill.
Merrill had a game-best three steals and was one of eight Aggies to record at least one theft on the night. Utah State’s 10 steals as a team tied for the second-most in a game this year.
The Aggies shot 27-of-56 from the field (48.2 percent), including 9-of-25 from beyond the arc (36.0 percent), and 8-of-11 from the charity stripe (72.7 percent).
Utah State held Boise State to just 31.3 percent (5-of-16) shooting from 3-point range, marking the 11th time this season the Aggies have held their opponent to 32.0 percent shooting or worse from behind the arc. Overall, the Broncos shot 46.3 percent from the field (25-of-54) and 76.9 percent from the charity stripe (10-of-13).
For the Broncos, their 65 points scored proved to be their fourth-fewest in a game this season.
Utah State will look to win its fourth game in five tries when it returns to action for a Valentine’s Day game against New Mexico (12-14, 7-6) on Wednesday, Feb. 14, at 7 p.m. The game will be streamed live on the Mountain West Network.
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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