Merrill Lifts Aggies To Overtime Win Over Boise State
BOISE, Idaho – It was an up-and-down game for Utah State, but they were able to force overtime and pick up a big road win over Boise State 78-71.
Sam Merrill led the way with 32 points for the Aggies on 5-of-11 shooting from downtown to go with his 8 rebounds. Abel Porter added 16 points, Neemias Queta chipped in 10 points, 8 rebounds and 1 block.
Derrick Alston led Boise State with 22 points and 5 rebounds, while Justinian Jessup poured in 21 points.
Merrill gives Aggies Much Needed Energy
The Aggies had a hot start with a 21-9 advantage on 8-of-15 shooting, led by Merrill with 11 points in the first 10 minutes of the game.
Boise State answered with eight straight points to cut the lead to 21-17 with 8 minutes left in the half.
Merrill continued with the hot hand as he posted 7 more points of the Aggies next 11 to put his total to 18 and Utah State’s lead was 32-26 with 4 minutes left in the half.
Justinian Jessup hit a jump shot at the buzzer, cutting Utah State’s lead to 37-30 at halftime.
Boise State Climbs Back
Just five minutes into the second half, Boise State was trailing by eight points when they scored five quick points to trail 43-40.
Utah State went on a 7-0 run to put their lead to 55-46 with 9 minutes left.
The Broncos countered with a 13-0 run of their own to take a 63-59 lead with 1 minute left in the game. Utah State went over 4 minutes without scoring.
Jessup hit a three-pointer to take a 66-61 lead with 41 seconds left.
Down by three with 16 seconds left, Merrill drove to the basket and was fouled. The game was tied and went to overtime after Jessup missed the potential game-winning shot.
The Aggies were able to pull out the win in the extra period by outscoring the Broncos 10-3.
— USU Men’s Hoops (@USUBasketball) February 23, 2019
Utah State improved to 22-6 overall and 12-3 in Mountain West Conference play with their fourth straight win. They will play San Diego State on Tuesday in Logan at 7:30 p.m. on CBS Sports Network.
The Aztecs are 17-9 overall and 9-4 in MWC action. They beat Utah State at home in their first meeting this season with a 68-63 victory on February 9.
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