Justin Bean last-second putback gives Utah State 76-74 win over South Florida

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Sam Merrill scores 21 points as Utah State improves to 11-2

HOUSTON (ABC4 Sports) – Justin Bean was just in time.

Bean scored on a tip-in with 0.2 seconds remaining in overtime to lift Utah State to a thrilling 76-74 victory over South Florida in the Battleground 2k19 on Wednesday night at the Toyota Center.

Bean’s basket came after the sophomore forward drew a charge on the Bulls’ David Collins at the other end, giving the ball back to the Aggies (11-2) with 38 seconds remaining.

Utah State worked the clock before trying to make a pass to the low post with less than 15 seconds remaining, but a South Florida player was called for kicking. The Aggies retained possession, and the shot clock was turned off, allowing USU to hold for the final shot.

Abel Porter dialed up a potential game-winning 3-pointer from the top right of the arc, but it was off the mark. The ball was briefly knocked around before landing in the hands of Bean, who made the basket to give the Aggies the lead.

Bean, who scored 12 points, finished one rebound shy of a double-double. Sam Merrill and Neemias Queta led the Aggies with 21 and 18 points apiece, respectively, before the duo fouled out in overtime.

Alphonso Anderson scored 12 points off the bench for Utah State, while Porter chipped in 10.

Collins and Laquincy Rideau each scored 15 points for the Bulls (6-5), who led 66-62 with 1:15 remaining in regulation. A layup by Queta cut the deficit to two and Bean tied the game at 66-apiece when he made a cut to the basket, took a pass from Porter, who dished out a game-high seven assists, and converted on a layup of his own with 23 seconds to go.

The game went to overtime when South Florida’s Xavier Castaneda could not connect on a game-winning 3-pointer.

Utah State shot 51.0 percent from the field (26-of-51), including 33.3 percent from 3-point range (8-of-24), and 69.6 percent from the free throw line (16-of-23). Behind the nine boards from Bean and eight more from Queta, who played a season-high 29 minutes, the Aggies outrebounded the Bulls 34-31.

South Florida shot 46.7 percent from the field (28-of-60), including 29.4 percent from beyond the arc (5-of-17), and 72.2 percent from the free throw line (13-of-18). The Bulls’ reserved outscored the Aggies’ bench, 28-12

The Aggies led 31-29 at halftime.

Utah State remains on the road this weekend when it squares off against Florida (7-3) in the Metro by T-Mobile Orange Bowl Basketball Classic on Saturday, Dec. 21.

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