by Ashley Springer, USU Athletic Media Relations
OGDEN, Utah - Utah State men's basketball (0-1) lost 65-59 to Weber State (1-0) Friday night at the Dee Events Center.
USU was led by senior forward Alex Dargenton with 12 points and junior guard DeAngelo Isby with 11. Junior forward Dwayne Brown, Jr. led the Aggies with five rebounds, followed by Dargenton and freshman guard Brock Miller with four. Sophomore guard Sam Merrill led the team with three assists and a block.
WSU jumped out to an early 12-2 lead, including a 7-0 run snapped by a Merrill corner trey with 13:40 left to play in the first. After the Wildcats took a 16-9 lead, the Aggies responded with a 7-0 run of their own off a pair of layups from Dargenton and junior forward Quinn Taylor, along with a triple from sophomore guard Koby McEwen to tie it up at 16-16, with 6:13 remaining in the half. The teams continued trading baskets and a pair of free throws from redshirt freshman Abel Porter brought USU within one, 25-24, with 53 second to play in the first half. The Wildcats would finish out the half with a pair of free throws of their own to lead 27-24.
After a Weber State bucket to start the second half, a pair of tip-ins from Brown and Dargenton brought the Aggies within one, 29-28, with 18:26 left to play. The teams went back-and-forth for a stretch, with Miller, Dargenton and McEwen scoring for Utah State to come within two, 43-41, with 8:48 remaining. WSU proceeded on a 10-2 run to lead 53-42 with 6:09 left in the game. A pair of Taylor free throws and a layup by Isby ended the run, bringing USU within six, 53-47, with 5:11 to go. After a trey from Taylor and free throws from Taylor, Isby and McEwen, the Aggies were able to cut the lead back down to two, 57-55, with 3:02 left to play.
The Wildcats extended the lead back out to seven after back-to-back layups and then a jumper to lead 63-56 with 1:29 remaining. An and-1 by Isby brought the Aggies to within four, 63-59, with just over a minute to go. However, a Weber State block and dunk ended the game with the Wildcats winning, 65-59.
WSU was led by senior guard Ryan Richardson with 20 points, junior forward Zach Braxton with 18 and junior forward Brekkott Chapman with 10. Braxton led with eight rebounds, while Richardson, freshman forward Michal Kozak and senior guard Dusty Baker each added six. Sophomore guard Jerrick Harding led with three assists, and Braxton led with three blocks.
Utah State finished the game shooting 37.0 percent (20-of-54), including 26.7 percent (4-of-15) from behind the arc, while shooting 78.9 percent (15-of-19) from the free throw line. Weber State shot 42.6 percent (23-of-54) from the floor, 27.3 percent (6-of-22) from behind the 3-point line and 81.3 percent (13-of-16) from the free throw line.
USU will next face Montana State (1-0) on Monday in its home opener at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. The game will be broadcast on the Mountain West Network and tipoff is set for 7 p.m. (MT).
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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