by Ashley Springer, USU Athletic Media Relations
LOGAN, Utah - Utah State men’s basketball (2-1) broke open the second half with a 20-0 run, posting an 83-47 victory over Mississippi Valley State (0-3) Wednesday night at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. The Aggies would outscore the Delta Devils 50-19 in the second half.
Utah State was led by junior guard DeAngelo Isby with 17 points and three steals, along with five rebounds and two assists. Redshirt freshman Daron Henson had 12 points and tied for a team-high six boards with junior forward Quinn Taylor. Sophomore guard Koby McEwen also scored in double figures with 11 points, adding three rebounds and tied sophomore guard Sam Merrill for a team-high five assists. Merrill rounded out the double-digit scoring with 10 points.
The game started off with the teams trading baskets until the Delta Devils extended their lead to six, 13-7, with 12:41 remaining in the half. A trey from redshirt freshman guard Abel Porter cut the lead to three, 13-10, with 12:13 to go in the first. Mississippi Valley maintained its advantage and led by as many as nine, 24-15, with 6:38 to go. 3-point buckets by McEwen and sophomore guard Diogo Brito, free throws from Isby and a Porter layup gave the Aggies a 27-26 lead with 2:47 to play in the first half, and Utah State never trailed again. Merrill closed out the half with an and-1 with five seconds left to give the Aggies the 33-28 lead going into the break.
In the 20-0 run to start the second half, McEwen and Isby combined for 16 points with four treys and four free throws. Buckets from Isby and Merrill also contributed to the run, putting USU ahead 53-28 with 14:40 to go. Utah State’s defense held the Delta Devils scoreless from the field for the first seven minutes of the final half. A Taylor tip-in, Henson triple and free throw, a three from freshman guard Brock Miller and free throws from junior forward Dwayne Brown Jr. put the Aggies up 34, 69-35, with 8:58 left to play. Utah State would get its largest lead of the night of 40, 82-42, with 4:38 to play after a 3-pointer and layup from Merrill, free throws from senior forward Alex Dargenton and a Dargenton slam. The Aggies wrapped up the victory with a 83-47 win.
USU capitalized on MVSU’s 17 turnovers, turning them into 22 points. The Aggies won the battle of the boards, out-rebounding the Delta Devils 39-31, while also outscoring Mississippi Valley in the paint, 24-16.
Mississippi Valley State was led by junior guard Dante Scott with 11 points, along with five rebounds and two assists. Junior guard Jordan Evans had 10 points, two assists, two rebounds and a steal. Senior center Jamal Watson finished with five boards, one point, one assist, one block and a steal.
Utah State finished the game shooting 46.4 percent (26-of-56), including 37.1 percent (13-of-35) from behind the arc, while shooting 72.0 percent (18-of-25) from the free throw line. MVSU shot 32.0 percent (16-of-50) from the floor, 30.0 percent (6-of-20) from behind the 3-point line and 64.3 percent (9-of-14) from the free throw line.
USU will next face Gonzaga (2-0) on Saturday at the McCarthey Athletic Center. The game will be broadcast by the West Coast Conference and tipoff is set for 8 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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