Nov. 22, 2016
by Ashley Springer, Utah State Athletic Media Relations
CANCUN, Mexico - Utah State men's basketball (3-1) lost 85-64 to Purdue (3-1) on Tuesday night in the first of two games for the Aggies in Cancun, Mexico, as part of the Cancun Challenge.
Senior wing Jalen Moore led the Aggies with 16 points, five rebounds and three assists. Redshirt sophomore wing Alexis Dargenton and junior guard Julion Pearre had a combined 24 points to help the Aggie bench outscore Purdue's 31-6. Dargenton had a career-high 14 points and nine rebounds and added three assists, one steal and a block. Pearre had a season-high 10 points, four rebounds and two assists. Freshman guard Koby McEwen led the team in assists with four, and senior guard Shane Rector led the team with two steals.
The Aggies opened the game with a bang as Moore recorded an alley-oop from Koby McEwen on Utah State's first possession. Purdue went on to take a 24-12 lead with nine and a half minutes remaining in the first half. The Aggies responded with a 13-1 run, started by a layup from Pearre, to tie the game 25-25 with 4:47 left in the first. However, Purdue closed out the half with a 14-2 run to take a 39-27 lead going into the break.
Junior forward Ngor Barnaba opened the second half with a three to cut the lead to nine (39-30) with 19:39 left, but it was as close as the Aggies came in the second half. Purdue later gained the momentum to lead 76-53 with just over four minutes to go. Back-to-back dunks from Moore and Dargenton cut the lead down to 19 (76-57) with under two minutes left to play. Purdue maintained the advantage, though, to lead 85-61 with 1:10 left. A 3-pointer from freshman guard Diogo Brito with 10 seconds left brought the score to 85-64.
Purdue was led by junior center Isaac Haas with 26 points and five rebounds. Junior guard Dakota Mathias added 25 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals. Sophomore forward Caleb Swanigan had 15 points and 10 rebounds and freshman guard Carsen Edwards had 10 points and three rebounds.
The Aggies will finish up the Cancun Challenge on Wednesday playing Texas Tech (3-1) in the third-place game, with tipoff schedule for 4 p.m. (MT). Fans can watch the game live on the CBS Sports Network (Comcast Ch. 269/753HD, Dish Network Ch. 158, DirecTV Ch. 221) with Thad Anderson on play-by-play and Doug Gottlieb providing color. The game can also be heard on KVNU (610 AM) will the voice of the Aggies, Al Lewis, providing play-by-play.
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