UTAH STATE AGGIES

Aggies Falter In Final Minutes Against Saint Mary’s, Suffer 1st Loss

Nov 29, 2019, 11:57 PM | Updated: 11:58 pm
Utah State Men's Basketball...
Courtesy of Utah State Athletics

MORAGA, Calif. – The Utah State men’s basketball team struggled to close out the game in the final minutes of play vs. Saint Mary’s and fell for the first time this season.

The No. 15 Aggies lost to the Gaels 81-73 at McKeon Pavilion in Moraga, California on Friday, November 29.

Saint Mary’s closed the game on a 20-8 run after the Aggies led the game 65-61 with 4:25 left to play.

It was a back-and-forth game until the final two minutes. Neither team led by more than single digits.

Utah State’s lack of defense on the Gaels’ Jordan Ford proved to be the deciding factor in the outcome. Ford led all scorers with 27 points on 10-18 shooting. The Gaels’ guard was 5-8 from three-point range. He added 5 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals in the win.

Ford hit a shot from behind the arc with 2:43 that put the Gaels up 69-67 and up for good.

Saint Mary’s shot 51.8 percent in the game. It was the highest shooting percentage allowed by Utah State through eight games this season.

The Aggies were led by Sam Merrill and Justin Bean who combined for 47 points. Merril scored 23 points on 9-19 field goals. He added 6 boards and 2 steals. Bean shot 8-13 for 24 points. He recorded 7 points on 100 percent shooting from the free throw stripe. Bean added 9 rebounds in the loss.

It was the first loss for the Aggies this season and moved them to a 7-1 record. It was the team’s first true road loss. Utah State is now 6-5 against the Gaels all-time.

Saint Mary’s improved to 7-1 on the season and 5-1 at home.

Utah State plays at San Jose State on Wednesday, December 4 at 9:15 p.m. (MDT). The game will be broadcast on ESPN2.

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