by Wade Denniston, Utah State Athletic Media Relations
LOGAN, Utah – After scoring just 14 points in his last two games combined, senior wing Jalen Moore had 23 points, to go along with three rebounds and two assists, as Utah State’s men’s basketball team defeated Wyoming 81-74 on Saturday night at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
Moore has now scored 1,507 career points, which ranks 12th all-time in school history. He is now one of just 10 Aggies to ever record 1,500 career points and 600 career rebounds.
Sophomore forward Quinn Taylor added a season-high 14 points – just two off his career high – seven rebounds and three assists for the Aggies (11-13, 5-8 Mountain West), who snapped a two-game losing streak and avenged a 95-87 setback to Wyoming on Jan. 11 in Laramie.
Three other players scored in double figures for Utah State, which shot 44.6 percent from the field (25-of-56), including 42.1 percent from 3-point range (8-of-19), and 85.2 percent from the free throw line (23-of-27).
Freshmen guards Sam Merrill and Koby McEwen finished with 13 and 12, respectively, and redshirt sophomore wing Alexis Dargenton had 11, finishing a rebound shy of recording his first career double-double. He also tied his career high with four blocks.
Louis Adams led the Cowboys (16-10, 6-7 MW) with 16 points, while Jeremy Lieberman had 11 and Jason McManamen added 10. Wyoming has lost five straight games in Logan.
The Cowboys shot 45.8 percent from the field (27-of-59), including 40.0 percent from beyond the arc (12-of-30). However, Wyoming shot 14 fewer free throws than the Aggies and made just 61.5 percent (8-of-13).
Behind Dargenton and McEwen, who matched his career high with nine rebounds, Utah State owned the boards, outrebounding Wyoming 41-26, including a 13-5 edge on the offensive glass.
On the Aggies’ very first possession of the game, sophomore forward Norbert Janicek, Merrill and Dargenton each grabbed an offensive rebound, which led to a putback by Dargenton. He was also fouled on the play and made the subsequent free throw, giving the hosts a 3-0 lead just 32 seconds into the game.
Utah State scored 14 second-chance points on the night.
With his team trailing 65-63, Merrill hit a 3-pointer from the left wing to make it 66-65 for the Aggies with 6:19 to go. Utah State never trailed again.
Justin James made a layup to pull the Cowboys within 76-73 with 1:06 remaining, but a 3-pointer by Moore just 25 seconds later halted any chances Wyoming had at coming back.
It was a close game from start to finish. Wyoming led 13-10 within the first four minutes of the game, but Utah State used an 11-0 run, capped by an old-fashioned three-point play by Moore, to open up a 21-13 lead with 14:12 remaining in the half.
That’s when the Cowboys got hot from downtown, though. Of Wyoming’s final 10 baskets of the first half, seven were from 3-point range.
Adams, who came in averaging just 6.6 points per game, scored nine of the Cowboys’ final 12 points of the half. However, the Aggies led 43-42 at the break.
The entertaining game in front of 7,027 fans at the Spectrum featured 10 ties and 16 lead changes.
Utah State will remain at home on Wednesday, Feb. 15, for a matchup with San Diego State. Tip-off from the Spectrum is slated for 8 p.m. and will be televised live on the CBS Sports Network.
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.
For Utah State men’s basketball news and information, fans can follow the Aggies at twitter.com/USUBasketball and on Facebook at USUMensBasketball. Fans can also find highlights of the Aggies at youtube.com/UtahStateAthletics and they can follow the USU athletics program at twitter.com/USUAthletics, on Facebook at USUAthletics or on Instagram at USUAthletics.
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