SPORTS

Merrill’s Big Second Half Helps Utah State Past Florida

Dec 21, 2019, 3:07 PM | Updated: 10:55 pm

SUNRISE, Fla. – Utah State star Sam Merrill came up big for the Aggies in their 65-62 win over the Florida Gators in the Orange Bowl Classic.

The Aggies had the ball with a three point lead and under two minutes remaining when Merrill received the ball at the top of the three-point line when a Gator defender closed out on him but Merrill pump faked the defender and took a step to his left and fired a three pointer to give the Aggies a six point lead.

Merrill finished with 21 points, scoring 13 in the second half. He also had a career-high 9 rebounds and 5 assists while shooting 8-18 from the field and 5-10 from downtown, he didn’t attempt a free throw.

Utah State had to play the entire second half without their center Neemias Queta, who left the game late in the first half with an injury. He didn’t attempt a shot but did have two rebounds and two assists in 10 minutes on the floor.

Both teams struggled shooting the ball to start the game, Florida went 0-14 and Utah State started 3-12 from the field. The game picked up offensively later in the contest. Florida finished the game shooting 20-62 (32%) from the field, 4-17 (23%) from beyond the arc and 18-22 from the free throw line. Kerry Blackshear led all scorers with 22 points and 11 rebounds.

Utah State shot 24-53 (45%) from the field, 9-25 (36%) from the perimeter and 8-11 from the charity stripe. Helping out Merrill for the Aggies was Justin Bean with 12 points and 9 rebounds, Diogo Brito added 11 points, 5 assists and 5 rebounds off the bench.

The Aggies improved their record to 12-2 on the season and will finish their non-conference slate on Saturday, December 28 when they host Eastern Oregon at the Spectrum. The game will tip-off at 2 p.m.

  • Utah State Aggies Scoreboard

  • Utah State Aggies Team Leaders

  • Utah State Aggies Standings

Sports

Pac-12-Championship-Game-Utah-Utes-USC-Trojans...
Michelle Bodkin

Instant Reactions To Utah’s Back-To-Back Pac-12 Titles

Utah beat the socks off USC, a team in the days leading up to the game had "already won" in their quest to be back-to-back Pac-12 champions.
9 hours ago
Kyle-Whittingham-Utah-Utes-USC-Trojans-Pac-12-Championship-Game...
Patrick Kinahan

PK: A Wild Two Weeks Goes From Despair To Elation For Utah Football

From despair to elation and then swallowed up in unimaginable joy, Utah has run through the gamut of emotions over the last two weeks.
1 day ago
Cam Rising - Utah Utes Pac-12 Championship...
Trevor Allen

Social Media Goes Crazy After Utah Football Repeats As Pac-12 Champs

The Utah Utes are back-to-back Pac-12 Champions after a 47-24 win over No. 4 USC in the conference title game in Las Vegas. 
1 day ago
Utah-Jazz-Walker-Kessler-History...
Ben Anderson

Jazz Drub Pacers, Kessler Shows Significant Growth

Walker Kessler had a 20-point, 11-rebound double-double as the Utah Jazz crushed the Indiana Pacers 139-119. 
1 day ago
Rose Bowl Game logo...
Michelle Bodkin

After Championship Win, Utes Are Rose Bowl Bound

The Utah football program beat USC to earn another Pac-12 title and a berth to play in the Rose Bowl Game to start the New Year.
1 day ago
utah-wide-receiver-money-parks...
Michelle Bodkin & Brian Preece

Dominant Second Half Allows No. 11 Utah To Pull Away In Pac-12 Championship

The No. 11 Utah Utes upset the No. 4 USC Trojans to win their second straight Pac-12 Conference title and earn a spot in the Rose Bowl Game.
1 day ago
Merrill’s Big Second Half Helps Utah State Past Florida