Merrill Scores Season-High In Aggies Big Road Win Over Colorado State
FORT COLLINS, Colo. – The Utah State Aggies made some big shots down the stretch and made some key stops on defense in order to get a big 75-72 win over Colorado State to snatch the No. 2 spot in the Mountain West Conference standings.
The reigning conference Player of the Year Sam Merrill led the way with a season-high 32 points, including 20 points in the second half to go with his 4 rebounds and 5 assists on 12-18 shooting from the field and 6-10 from downtown.
Entering the game, Merrill needed just 4 points to reach 2,000 career points. He reached that milestone early in the game. After reaching 2,000 points, Merrill’s next buck put him past Wayne Estes for third all-time in scoring in Utah State history. The senior now trails only Greg Grant and Jaycee Carroll.
— USU Men's Hoops (@USUBasketball) February 12, 2020
With 30 seconds left in the game, the Aggies had a one point lead when Merrill went one-on-one with Colorado State forward Nico Carvacho before pulling up and drilling a three-pointer to put Utah State ahead by 4 points.
The Aggies had a strong start in the second half after outscoring the Rams 37-30 in the first half. But, after the strong start, Colorado State went on a 10-0. Utah State stuck with it.
Neemias Queta added 14 points, 10 rebounds and 2 blocks on 7-11 shooting. Diogo Brito chipped in 11 points off the bench.
As a team, Utah State shot 50 percent from the floor, 33 percent from downtown and attempted just four free throws, all late in the second half.
With a lay up at the 11:49 mark of the game, Sam Merrill has joined the 2,000 point club. 2 more points and he'll pass Wayne Estes on the all-time scoring list. pic.twitter.com/sqjemp3CNn
— Matthew L Glade (@matthewLksl) February 12, 2020
Leading the Rams was Isaiah Stevens with 19 points and 7 assists. Carvacho nearly had a double-double with 12 points and 9 rebounds. Colorado State converted 51 percent of their shots, 36 percent of their three-point attempts and went just 4-8 from the foul line.
Utah State improved their record to 20-7 overall and 9-5 in Mountain West Conference play. They will finish their two-game road trip on Saturday against Fresno State. Tip-off is at 8 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPNU.
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