Merrill scores career-high 23 points and Brown records first career double-double in the loss
Nov. 20, 2017
Box Score |
Portland, Ore. - Utah State men's basketball (2-3) lost 83-79 to Portland State (4-0) Monday night at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
Sophomore guard Sam Merrill
scored a career high of 23 points, and also recorded four rebounds and three assists. Junior forward Dwayne Brown Jr.
posted his first career double-double with 13 points and a career-high 15 boards. Freshman guard Brock Miller
scored in double-figures for the first time in his career with 15 and grabbed one rebound. Sophomore guard Diogo Brito
scored a career high 12 points, upping his career high in back-to-back games, while also recording three rebounds and a steal.
Portland State used a 10-1 run to build its first double-digit lead of the first half, 19-9, with 14:16 on the clock. The Aggies battled back and trimmed the margin to three, 19-16, behind baskets by Miller, Brito and junior forward Quinn Taylor
with 12:24 to play. The difference went back into the double digits when back-to-back buckets gave Portland State a 32-20 lead with 6:00 to play in the first half. A Brito layup brought the Aggies back to within eight, 34-26, with 3:33 on the clock, but Portland State closed the half with an 11-3 run to take a 45-29 advantage into the break.
Utah State shot 35.7 percent (10-of-28) from the floor over the course of the opening 20 minutes, including just 1-of-11 from behind the 3-point line, while Portland State shot 48.5 percent (16-of-33) from the floor and 46.2 percent (6-of-13) from behind the arc.
Utah State came out hot into the second half, hitting four 3-pointers in the opening three minutes, along with an and-1, to cut the lead to six, 50-44, with 17:14 remaining. The Aggies continued to score, and a couple of buckets from Brito and Merrill brought them within two, 55-53, with 12:44 left to play. USU took its first lead since the start of the first half, 60-58, after a pair of Merrill free throws with 8:15 to go.
Portland State took back the lead, 66-61, after an 8-0 run with 4:35 left to play. A couple of quick buckets by Merrill and senior forward Alex Dargenton
brought the Aggies within one, 66-65, with 4:09 on the clock. The Vikings maintained the lead and were up seven, 77-70, with just over a minute left to play. USU kept competing in the final minute, and after a Miller triple with 11 seconds to go, PSU would hit just one free throw and Brito would make the layup to make it a two-point game, 81-79, with nine seconds left to play. Portland State knocked down two free throws on the next possession and went on to win it, 83-79.
The Aggie bench outscored the Vikings' 34-22, and USU won the battle in the paint 36-22. However, Portland State was able to convert 27 points off of Utah State's 21 turnovers.
The Vikings were led by senior guard Bryce Canda with 17 points, nine rebounds, four assists and a steal. Junior guard Michael Mayhew also recorded 17 points, along with three assists, two steals and a rebound. Freshman guard Holland Woods had 12 points, four rebounds, two assists and a steal. Senior center Traylin Farris had 11 points and a rebound. Senior forward Brandon Hollins had 11 points, four rebounds, two steals and a block.
Utah State finished the game shooting 50.0 percent (28-of-56), including 38.1 percent (8-of-21) from behind the arc, while shooting 57.7 percent (15-of-26) from the free throw line. Portland State shot 42.4 percent (25-of-59) from the floor, 40.9 percent (9-of-22) from behind the 3-point line and 70.6 percent (24-of-34) from the free throw line.
Utah State will next face Northeastern (2-2) on Friday at the Municipal Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn. Tip-off is set for 1 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).