Utah State Takes Down Northern Iowa 71-52

Nov 28, 2018, 9:25 PM | Updated: Nov 29, 2018, 9:47 am
Utah State's Sam Merrill (5) drives to the basket against Northern Iowa at the Dee Glen Smith Spect...
Utah State's Sam Merrill (5) drives to the basket against Northern Iowa at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum in Logan, Utah on Wednesday, November, 28, 2018. (Utah State Athletics)
(Utah State Athletics)

LOGAN, Utah – The Utah State Aggies notched a win for the Mountain West Conference as they beat Northern Iowa 71-52 in the MWC/MVC Challenge.

Utah State is now 2-2 all-time in the Mountain West/Missouri Valley Conference Challenge.

“I thought that was a great win for our guys. We had to really grind, especially in the first 27 to 28 minutes of the game,” said Utah State head coach Craig Smith after the game.

Sam Merrill was the only Aggie in double figures with 20 points, his fourth time this season scoring 20 points or more. John Knight III added 9 points off the bench and Neemias Queta had 5 points, 5 rebounds and 2 blocks.

Utah State center Neemias Queta (23) dunks the basketball against Northern Iowa at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum in Logan, Utah on November 28, 2018. (Utah State Athletics)

Utah State shot 50 percent from the field, including 5-of-16 from the three-point line. They out-rebounded the Panthers 41-31.

Luke McDonnell was the only Northern Iowa player to score in double figures as he dropped 14 points.

The Aggies started with an 18-8 run in the first nine minutes of the game but the Panthers stayed within reach with Utah State leading at the break 31-23.

For the first 13 minutes of the second half, Utah State’s lead stayed around 10 to 14 points before ending the game on a 19-10 run to come away with the victory.

“That’s our third or fourth time we’ve held our opponents to 31 percent shooting or less in a game,” Smith said. “I just can’t tell you how hard that is to do. It’s so difficult to do and it’s so hard to do when defending the three, let alone holding a team to that kind of percentage defensively. In the second half, I thought we really moved the ball a lot better,” he added.

Utah State improved to 6-1 on the season and will travel to UC Irvine on Saturday at 8 p.m.

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Utah State Takes Down Northern Iowa 71-52