Feb. 15, 2017
by Wade Denniston, Utah State Athletic Media Relations
LOGAN, Utah - Senior wing Jalen Moore had 20 points, four rebounds and four assists as Utah State's men's basketball team lost to San Diego State, 66-62, in a contest that went down to the wire on Wednesday night at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum
The Aggies (11-14, 5-9 Mountain West) trailed by 13 with 4:06 remaining, but whittled it down to 65-62 with 10 seconds left following two free throws by freshman guard Sam Merrill.
San Diego State's Jeremy Hemsley was fouled with eight seconds left, giving him two free throw opportunities. Hemsley missed the first attempt, but made the second to put the Aztecs (15-10, 7-6 MW) up 66-62.
Utah State freshman guard Koby McEwen missed a 3-pointer for the Aggies with four seconds left and the Aztecs' Trey Kell grabbed the rebound to seal the win.
Kell finished with a game-high 21 points and seven rebounds for San Diego State, which has won nine straight against Utah State. Hemsley was the only other Aztec to finish in double figures with 13.
Both McEwen and fellow freshman guard Sam Merrill joined Moore in double-figure scoring for the Aggies with 13 and 12 points, respectively.
Utah State, which trailed by as many as 11 in the first half, took its first and only lead of the night at the 16:15 mark of the second half when Merrill calmly sank a pair of free throws. The Aggies had several opportunities to build on their slim advantage, but a couple of missed shots and a turnover on three straight possessions proved costly.
Moore provided the highlight of the night for both teams when he took a long outlet pass from senior guard Shane Rector, took one dribble along the left baseline before rising and slamming it one-handed over San Diego State's Malik Pope. Moore, who also had a two-hand flush in the first half, was fouled on the play and he hit the subsequent free throw to tie the score at 42-all with 12:46 to go in the game.
Unfortunately for the Aggies, the momentum was short-lived as Hemsley scored on a layup 23 seconds later to give the Aztecs the lead back for good.
With his 20 points, Moore now has 1,527 in his career to rank 12th all-time in school history and is just nine points shy of tying Reid Newey (1984, '87-89) for 11th place with 1,536.
Sophomore forward Quinn Taylor grabbed a game-best eight boards to help Utah State outrebound San Diego State 36-33. Merrill equaled Moore's assist output with four as the Aggies had 17 helpers on 22 baskets.
Utah State shot 42.3 percent from the field (22-of-52) on the night, including 30.0 percent from 3-point range (6-of-20), and 63.2 percent from the free throw line (12-of-19).
Defensively, the Aggies held the Aztecs to 41.1 percent shooting from the field (23-of-56), including 36.4 percent from beyond the arc (8-of-22). Like Utah State, SDSU shot 63.2 percent from the charity stripe (12-of-19).
Utah State will open a two-game road trip on Saturday, Feb. 18, when the Aggies take on Nevada on Saturday, Feb. 18, in Reno, Nev. Tip-off from the Lawlor Events Center is slated for 6 p.m. (MT) and will be streamed live on ESPN3.
The Aggies' final home game of the regular season is on Saturday, Feb. 25, against Air Force. Tip-off from the Spectrum is set for 7 p.m. and will be televised live on ROOT.
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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