by Ashley Springer, Utah State Athletic Media Relations
RENO, Nev. – Utah State men’s basketball (11-15, 5-10 Mountain West) lost 77-66 to Nevada (21-6, 10-4 Mountain West) Saturday night at the Lawlor Events Center.
Senior wing Jalen Moore scored 19 points to pass Eric Franson (1991, 94-96) for No. 10 spot on the all-time scoring list with 1,546 career points. Moore also had four rebounds and one assist.
Sophomore forward Norbert Janicek had a career-high 16 points, along with five boards, one assist and one steal. Utah State’s bench outscored Nevada’s 16-8, with junior guard Julion Pearre leading the way with eight points to go along with one rebound, one assist, one block and one steal. Freshman guard Sam Merrill led the Aggies with five assists, and also had three points, two rebounds and a steal.
Merrill knocked down a three to give USU an early 3-1 lead with 18:43 to go in the first. The teams then exchanged runs with a 10-0 Nevada run countered by a 7-0 Utah State run that brought the difference to one, 13-12, with 12:25 to play in the first half. Nevada extended its lead to eight, 24-16, but a couple of threes from senior guard Shane Rector and Moore brought it to within two, 24-22, with 6:54 to go in the first half. Another trey from Moore and a free throw from redshirt sophomore wing Alexis Dargenton tied it up 26-26 with 4:44 remaining in the first.
The Wolf Pack turned around with an 8-0 run, ended again by Dargenton with a layup to bring the Aggies to within six, 34-28, with 2:24 left in the half. Back-to-back Nevada buckets extended the lead to 10, 38-28, with 1:12 remaining in the first. After a pair of free throws from freshman guard Koby McEwen, Nevada hit a three to lead 41-30 at the break.
Janicek had four points to open the second half to cut Nevada’s lead to seven, 41-34, with 18:27 to play. However, the Wolf Pack responded with another run, 9-2, to lead 50-36 with 16:07 remaining. A free throw from Moore and a bucket from Janicek cut the lead to 50-39 with 14:43 left in the second, and a corner trey from Moore brought it to within 10, 52-42, with 12:31 to go.
Pearre ended an over three minute Utah State scoring drought to bring the Aggies within 14, 60-46, with 8:39 to play. The teams traded buckets before a Pearre layup and Janicek jumper cut the lead to 13, 70-57, with 4:03 left in the game. Moore hit a three and a technical free throw, and McEwen drained a 3-pointer to bring the Aggies within eight, 72-64, with just over a minute remaining. However, the Wolf Pack held on to win 77-66.
Nevada was led by senior guard Marcus Marshall with 22 points, six rebounds, four assists and one steal. Senior guard D.J. Fenner had 18 points, three rebounds, two assists and a steal. Sophomore forward Cameron Oliver recorded a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds, along with five blocks. Sophomore forward Jordan Caroline also had a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds, along with two steals, one assist and one block. Sophomore guard Lindsey Drew had 10 boards, four assists, two points and a steal off the bench.
Utah State finished the game shooting 39.7 percent (23-of-58), including 41.7 percent (10-of-24) from behind the arc, while shooting 62.5 percent (10-of-16) from the free throw line. Nevada shot 40 percent (24-of-60) from the floor, 50 percent (11-of-22) from behind the 3-point line and 69.2 percent (18-of-26) from the free throw line.
USU will next face San José State (14-11, 7-7 Mountain West) on Wednesday at the Event Center in San Jose. The game will be broadcast on the Mountain West Network and tipoff is set for 8 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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