LOGAN (AP) — Jalen Moore had 20 points, seven rebounds and five assists, Koby McEwen scored 16 of his 18 points in the second half and Utah State beat New Mexico 79-75 on Wednesday night to snap a three-game skid.
Freshman Sam Merrill, making his first start as an Aggie, scored 13 with a career-high eight assists and Quinn Taylor added 10 points for Utah State.
"That was a good finish. In the second half we played a lot better on defense and kept the ball moving on offense. It feels good to get that win," Merrill said, according to utahstateaggies.com.
The game featured eight ties and 15 lead changes, the last of each came when — in the midst of a 16-5 run — McEwen hit a pair of free throws to tie it and then made a 3 that gave the Aggies (7-7, 1-2 Mountain West) a 60-57 advantage with 8:20 left. That gave Utah State a lead it wouldn't relinquish.
Two foul shots by McEwen capped the spurt and made it 69-61 with 2:48 to play. Shane Rector made two layups while McEwen and Moore combined to hit 6 of 6 free throws from there to seal it.
"I told our guys in a timeout that tonight we flip the script, tonight we take the lead and tonight we finish. We did that and we made defensive stops," Utah State coach Tim Duryea said, according to utahstateaggies.com.
Utah State tied its season high with nine steals, led by three from Merrill.
The Aggies also gained an advantage from 3-point range, hitting 10 of 22 from beyond the arc compared to just 4 of 12 for the Lobos. Moore made 4 of 8 3-pointers, while Merrill hit three and McEwen two.
Utah State is now 3-1 this season when making at least 10 3-pointers in a game.
Tim Williams had 30 points — one shy of his career high — on 13-of-18 shooting for New Mexico (9-6, 2-1). Elijah Brown scored 17, including three 3-pointers.
"We played well on both ends of the court. Williams and Brown got it going a little bit, Williams was killing us, but we stopped most of the other guys and that's what got us the win," Moore said, according to utahstateaggies.com. "We played good team ball. It feels good to get back on the winning track."