by Ashley Springer, Utah State Athletic Media Relations
LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Utah State men’s basketball (13-16, 7-11 Mountain West) lost 66-59 to UNLV (11-19, 4-13 Mountain West) Wednesday night at the Thomas & Mack Center.
The Aggies were led by senior wing Jalen Moore with 14 points and seven rebounds, to go along with two assists and a steal. Freshman guard Koby McEwen had 12 points, seven boards, two assists and a career-high-tying two steals. Sophomore forward Norbert Janicek had 12 points, five rebounds and two assists. Freshman guard Sam Merrill added 11 points, three rebounds and three assists, all in the second half, and had one block.
USU opened the game by making its first five shots to lead 13-9 with 16:54 left to play in the first half. Janicek hit the first shot of the night, followed by treys from Moore and McEwen, then another Janicek jumper and a McEwen triple finished the streak. After a Moore jumper and a trey from sophomore forward Quinn Taylor that put the Aggies up 19-15 with 12:28 to play in the first, the Aggies scored just five points in nine and a half minutes. Back-to-back treys from Moore and McEwen put USU up two, 30-28, with 2:33 left in the half, but UNLV would lead 33-30 at the break.
Utah State opened the second half on a 7-2 run off of a pair of Janicek buckets and an and-1 from redshirt sophomore wing Alexis Dargenton to lead 37-35 with 17:28 remaining. Merrill scored the next eight points for the Aggies, one layup and a pair of threes, to tie it up at 45-45 with 13:52 to play. UNLV built a seven-point lead, 54-47, but USU responded with a 9-0 run on layups from junior guard Julion Pearre, Moore and Janicek, and a Merrill triple to lead 56-54 with 8:13 to play. However, the Aggies were unable to score from the field for the remainder of the game. After free throws from Moore and McEwen, the Aggies lost 66-59.
The Runnin’ Rebels were led by senior forward Tyrell Green with 19 points and 12 rebounds, as well as two assists. Senior forward Christian Jones had 16 points, 12 rebounds, three blocks, three steals and two assists. Junior guard Jovan Mooring had 12 points, five boards, five assists and one steal. Senior guard Uche Ofoegbu had 11 points, two assists, one rebound and one steal.
Utah State finished the game shooting 40.0 percent (22-of-55), including 45.0 percent (9-of-20) from behind the arc, while shooting 50.0 percent (6-of-12) from the free throw line. UNLV shot 43.1 percent (25-of-58) from the floor, 28.6 percent (6-of-21) from behind the 3-point line and 71.4 percent (10-of-14) from the free throw line.
Utah State now looks ahead to the Mountain West Basketball Championships which will begin Wednesday in Las Vegas, Nev.
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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