by Wade Denniston, USU Athletic Media Relations
LOGAN, Utah – Junior forward Dwayne Brown Jr. scored a career-high 24 points to pace five Aggies in double figures and Utah State pulled away in the second half for a dominating 96-62 victory over NAIA Life Pacific on Saturday night at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
Sophomore guard Koby McEwen added 20 points, five rebounds and five assists, while fellow sophomore guard Sam Merrill had 14. Senior guard Julion Pearre and junior forward Quinn Taylor chipped in 12 and 10 points, respectively.
Taylor also had seven rebounds and a team-best six assists. Brown and sophomore guard Diogo Brito each grabbed seven rebounds, as well.
Utah State (6-6), which led by as many as 36 points, outrebounded the Warriors 41-27 and had 23 assists on 36 baskets. All 10 Aggies that played had at least one helper on the night.
Jonathan Cortez led Life Pacific with 16 points and nine rebounds. Mark Eden added 15 points and a game-high eight assists, while Trey Huckabay was the final Warrior to score in double figures with 12.
The Aggies shot a sizzling 60.0 percent (36-for-60) from the field on the night, including 50.0 percent (13-for-26) from beyond the 3-point arc. Conversely, Life Pacific shot 34.9 percent (22-for-63) from the field and 34.3 percent (12-for-35) from the 3-point line.
Utah State outscored Life Pacific in the paint, 42-16, and picked up 26 points off its bench.
At the outset, the outmatched Warriors were unfazed by the Aggies, jumping out to a 12-8 lead with 16:02 remaining in the first half. Down 16-14 to Life Pacific, Utah State went on a 12-3 run to move in front for good, 26-19, with 8:44 left in the half. Taylor led the way during the game-changing spurt as he had five points and an assist.
The Warriors didn’t wilt, however, and went into intermission only trailing 40-35.
Utah State regained the momentum in the second half, opening the final 20 minutes on a 26-11 run. The Aggies grew their lead to 94-58 with 1:26 left after Pearre knocked down his only 3-pointer of the night.
Utah State will play its final game before the Christmas break when the Aggies welcome Youngstown State to the Spectrum on Wednesday, Dec. 20. The game will be streamed live on the Mountain West Network and is set to tip off at 7 p.m.
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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