By Ashley Springer, USU Athletic Media Relations
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Utah State men's basketball (4-3) posted a 77-63 victory over New Hampshire (1-5) on Saturday at the Municipal Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn.
Sophomore guard Sam Merrill led the Aggies with 20 points, along with four rebounds, one assist and a steal. Junior guard DeAngelo Isby had 16 points to go along with a career-high seven boards and five assists. Sophomore guard Diogo Brito tied his career high in points, assists and steals with 12, three and three, respectively, while also collecting four rebounds.
The Aggies broke open the game with an 11-0 start after a Merrill three, a couple buckets from senior forward Alex Dargenton, free throws from junior forward Dwayne Brown Jr., and a Brito layup with 13:45 on the clock. After some Isby and Merrill free throws, USU led by 14, 22-8, with 7:43 left to play in the first. New Hampshire brought it back to a nine-point game, 22-13, with 6:51 remaining, but Utah State responded with a 11-0 run to lead 33-13 with 4:12 to go. The Wildcats responded with a 7-0 run of their own to make it 33-20 with about three minutes to play. The Aggies took a 39-25 lead going into the half.
A Brito layup and free throw, followed by a Brown layup put the Aggies up by 20, 47-27, with 17:53 remaining. New Hampshire came back within 14, 51-37, but a couple of threes from Brown and Merrill gave USU the 57-37 lead with just under 12 minutes to go. A Brito triple, a jumper from junior forward Quinn Taylor and a layup from redshirt freshman forward Klay Stall put Utah State up 24, 66-42, with 9:04 on the clock. After an Isby 3-pointer put USU up 77-52 with 2:52 left to play, the Wildcats knocked down three treys and a layup to bring the final score to 77-63.
The Aggie bench outscored the Wildcats' 26-16. USU also won the paint battle 32-20 and converted 11 points off of the team's nine offensive boards.
Senior forward Iba Camara recorded a double-double for New Hampshire with 15 points and 17 rebounds, and added two steals. Junior guard Jordan Reed had 16 points, three assists and two rebounds. Senior forward Tanner Leissner had 15 points, six boards and an assist. Freshman guard Elijah Jordan had 10 assists, six points, one rebound and one steal.
Utah State finished the game shooting 46.6 percent (27-of-58), including 33.3 percent (7-of-21) from behind the arc, while shooting 80.0 percent (16-of-20) from the free throw line. New Hampshire shot 40.7 percent (22-of-54) from the floor, 40.0 percent (10-of-25) from behind the 3-point line and 90.0 percent (9-of-10) from the free throw line.
Utah State wraps up its road trip on Tuesday as it takes on Valparaiso (6-0) at the Athletics-Recreation Center in Valparaiso, Ind. Tip-off is set for 6 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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