Game Recap: No. 25 Utah State 77, Fresno State 70
The Aggies get star big man back in a close home win against the Bulldogs.
Merrill and company hold on in overtime for 77-70 win in conference play.
The Aggies are 2-0 in conference play after a 12 point win in San Jose on Wednesday night and a 7 point win in overtime Saturday at home. The Aggies struggled to gain a solid lead most of the game and a 61-58 lead with less than eighteen seconds left to go wasn’t enough to solidify a win in regulation.
The surprise of the night was the return of star sophomore center Neemias Queta who logged just 11 minutes in his first game of the season back from a knee injury suffered in the offseason playing for the Portuguese national team. Queta ended the night with six points, 1 rebound and 1 block but failed to make a field goal in what looked like a rust shedding outing for him. The Aggies haven’t missed a beat without him and have received production from a number of players in his absence.
But after coming off of a win Wednesday night the Aggies were taken to overtime by a Bulldog team who weren’t going to go down easily. The game looked to be a low scoring affair in the last minutes of the second half but a big time three rattled home for senior guard New Williams with less than a second to go. That sent the game into overtime and Craig Smith’s team was more composed and outscoring Fresno State 16-9 during that time. Composure and a late three pointer by a wide open Abel Porter in the corner sealed the deal for the Aggies.
The Bulldogs were looking to break a three game losing streak and also garner their first win in conference play. But while they came up short it wasn’t for a lack of scoring on seniors New Williams and Nate Grimes part who combined for 48 of their teams 70 points. Though they didn’t receive much help down the stretch and failed to contain Sam Merrill who ended the night with 24 Points and his ability to get his teammates involved robbed the Bulldogs of an upset in Logan.
The Bulldogs take on the California Golden Bears on Wednesday the 11th in Berkley and look to gain some momentum and a win heading into the middle of December. Freshman Jarred Hyder needs to step up and his supporting cast needs another performance like Saturday’s if they want to head home to the Central Valley with a win.
The Aggies take some time off with almost a full week until they take on in-state rival Brigham Young at home on Saturday the 14th. The Cougars have star forward Yoeli Childs back and he is averaging 21.0 PPG and 10.5 RPG through his first two games. The Dee Glen Spectrum should be filled for this one.