by Ashley Springer, USU Athletic Media Relations
CANCUN, Mexico – Utah State men’s basketball (3-2) lost to Texas Tech (4-1), 75-51, on Wednesday night in Cancun, Mexico, finishing fourth in the Cancun Challenge.
Senior wing Jalen Moore led the Aggies with 21 points and six rebounds. Sophomore forward Norbert Janicek had eight points and four rebounds, while freshman guard Koby McEwen also recorded eight points. Senior guard Shane Rector had seven points and led the team with four assists.
Utah State came out fast in the first half, building a 14-10 lead four minutes into the game as the Aggies were a perfect 4-of-4 from behind the 3-point line. The Aggies had seven buckets on seven assists to lead 19-12 with 13:31 remaining in the half. The Aggies held Texas Tech scoreless for over eight minutes and McEwen gave USU its first double-digit lead of the half, 22-12, as part of a 10-0 run by the Aggies with 12:21 to play in the first. Utah State had a 29-17 lead with 4:18 to play, but took just a two-point lead into the break, 32-30, after Texas Tech closed the half on a 13-3 run.
Moore had the hot hand for the Aggies in the first half, scoring 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting, including 3-of-5 from behind the 3-point line.
Texas Tech continued to close on the Aggies in the second half, tying the game at 32-32 out of the break, but Utah State came back with a pair of free throws from McEwen and a layup by Moore to take a 40-36 lead with 13:40 to play. However, Utah State shooters went cold in the second half, shooting 26.9 percent (7-of-26) from the floor, including 0-for-9 from behind the 3-point line. The Red Raiders had opposite fortunes, shooting 64.3 percent (18-of-28) from the floor and 42.9 percent (3-of-7) from behind the 3-point line en route to outscoring the Aggies 45-19 over the final 20 minutes.
Senior forward Anthony Livingston lead Texas Tech with 28 points and nine rebounds. Junior forward Zach Smith had 21 points, five rebounds and two assists. Senior guard Devon Thomas led Texas Tech with five assists.
The Aggies will next face BYU (4-0) on Wednesday, Nov. 30, at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. (MT) and will be broadcast on BYUtv.
For Aggie basketball ticket information, fans can contact the USU Athletics Ticket Office over the phone by calling 1-888-USTATE-1 or435-797-0305 during regular hours of operation. Fans can also buy their tickets in person at the USU Ticket Office inside the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum or online by clicking on the “Buy Tickets” tab at www.UtahStateAggies.com.
Utah State men’s basketball news and information is available on Facebook facebook.com/USUmen’sbasketball and on Twitter @Aggiehoops. 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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