No. 15 Utah State routs UTSA 82-50
By JOHN COON
LOGAN, Utah (AP) - Sam Merrill scored 21 points, including five 3-pointers, to lead No. 15 Utah State to an 82-50 victory over UTSA on Monday night.
Diogo Brito added 17 points and Brock Miller chipped in 10 for the Aggies. Justin Bean and Alphonso Anderson each had 11 rebounds. It marked Bean's fourth game with at least 10 rebounds this season.
Utah State (5-0) dominated the inside, outrebounding UTSA 55-36, outscoring the Roadrunners 46-16 in the paint and 38-8 in second chance points.
Jhivvan Jackson scored 15 points to lead the Roadrunners. Erik Czumbel added 12 points and Keaton Wallace added 10. UTSA (0-5) shot just 29% from the field.
Merrill scored three of Utah State's first four baskets. All of those came from the perimeter, allowing the Aggies to carve out a quick 11-2 lead.
UTSA answered with a 14-2 run over a 4 ½ minute span. The Roadrunners took their first lead after Czumbel and Jacob Germany hit back-to-back baskets to put UTSA up 16-13.
It didn't last long.
Utah State scored the next 14 points and didn’t look back. The Aggies scored baskets on five straight possessions, highlighted by Miller's corner three and dunk off a steal on back-to-back possessions. UTSA missed 10 straight shots over a four minute stretch, which opened the door for Utah State to charge back in front.
The Aggies ended any hope of a potential comeback late in the second half. Utah State scored baskets on six straight possessions, culminating in back-to-back 3-pointers from Brito and Alphonso Anderson, to take a 70-46 lead with 6:42 left.
Utah State will get a truer test of its AP Top 25 status when the Aggies play LSU and North Texas in the Jamaica Classic on Friday and Sunday respectively.
UTSA: Erratic shooting and a flurry of turnovers kept the Roadrunners from upsetting a ranked opponent for their first win of the season.
Utah State: The Aggies imposed their defensive will around the basket and forced UTSA into taking lots of tough shots for 40 minutes. Utah State also kept up the pressure in disrupting the passing lanes. It helped the Aggies overcome intermittent shooting struggles.
UTSA hosts Wiley College, an NAIA school, on Friday.
Utah State faces LSU in the first round of the Jamaica Classic on Friday.
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