Game Recap: Utah State 78, Wyoming 58
Merrill and company take care of business at home in search of a second-place finish.
Duo of Bean and Merrill lead Utah State past Wyoming at home.
LOGAN, UT—The Aggies played host to the Cowboys on Wednesday night inside the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum and closed the night with a 20-point win and sole possession of second place in the Mountain West.
Utah State was led by Sam Merrill who poured in 26 points on 69.2% shooting from the field and helped out on the defensive end chipping in three of the Aggies seven steals on the night. Merrill has hit peak form just in time to help push his team to a second-place finish behind San Diego State and almost in time for preseason play.
Sophomore big man Neemias Queta has been a bit hot and cold this season with only 8 points last night on 4-9 shooting. But the 7-footer was still able to use his height advantage on Wednesday night over a small ball Cowboys lineup, who were outrebounded 42-25 in starting big man Hunter Thompson’s continued absence.
Most of those rebounds came from Queta (15) and fellow sophomore Justin Bean (14) who garnered his 14th double-double of the season with his 20 points and 14 rebound performance last night.
The Cowboys limped to the finish line, with only two players reaching double figures at the end of the night. One of those players being sophomore guard Trevon Taylor who finished the night with a team-high 16 points and 4 rebounds, followed by fellow sophomore Greg Milton III with 10 points.
Leading scorer Hunter Maldonado was held to just 8 points on 2-12 shooting from the field in almost 38 minutes of play. Maldonado was the tallest man in a Cowboy uniform most of Wednesday night as an already struggling Wyoming had to play small without 6-10 sophomore post-Hunter Thompson who is still out indefinitely. Second leading scorer Jake Hendricks (9.7 PPG) struggled as well, finishing with 8 points on 2-8 shooting (all from deep).
Utah State Aggies:
Craig Smith and company take the weekend off before hosting San Jose State on Tuesday the 25th, which should shape up to be a pretty big senior night.
The Cowboys head south on Saturday to visit the Air Force Falcons in Colorado Springs for an afternoon match up in Clune Arena. The game will tip-off at 2:00 PM MST and can be seen on the AT&T Sports network. The Cowboys have three games left and have a chance at a couple of wins to tie with San Jose State to end the season. Wyoming would hold the tiebreaker to avoid a last play finish in the regular season.