LOGAN, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – On a late tip-off at the Spectrum, Utah State make quick work of San Jose State, racing out to a 19-0 lead in route to a 94-56 blowout win.
Neemias Queta had a double-double with 23 points and 10 rebounds, while Sam Merrill celebrated Senior Night by scoring 14 of his 18 points in the first half, as Utah State led 25-2 midway through the first half, cruising to its 6th straight victory.
“What a great night in the Spectrum,” said head coach Craig Smith, whose team improved to 23-7 overall, 12-5 in the Mountain West Conference. “It is a magical place. We had a such a great look to us in practice coming off our bye. The last two practices were off the charts and we played like that tonight. It was fun to see the ball go in the hole early, getting off to a 19-0 start. We had great production and great minutes from literally everybody that played. It’s always enjoyable when everyone scores.”
“This was a special, special night,” said Merrill about playing his final game at home. “You couldn’t have scripted tonight any better. For the fans that are willing to show up on a late night, Tuesday night, 9 o’clock and we go against not a big-brand opponent. I know it would have been easy for most fans to not show up and watch the game on TV. For those that did show up, we’re so thankful.”
Justin Bean added 12 points and 13 rebounds and Alphonso Anderson scored 11 points for Utah State, which can clinch second place in the conference with a win Saturday at New Mexico.
The Aggies scored the game’s first 19 points before Merrill and Brock Miller hit back-to-back 3s to take a 22-point lead with 12:36 left before halftime. Queta scored six points and Merrill added five in a 16-3 spurt that made it 51-14 at the break.
San Jose State shot just 17% (5 of 29) from the field and made just 3 of 20 from 3-point range in the first half.
The Aggies led by as many as 43 points in the second half, as Smith was able to empty his bench as 11 different players scored.
Senior Diogo Brito had six points, five rebounds and five assists in his final game at the Spectrum.
“Definitely a special night, one that I have been looking forward to and have imagined for some time,” Brito said. “My time at Utah State has been with a lot of ups and downs, but I couldn’t have imagined a better time than tonight. We came out ready to play. We came out with a lot of energy and aggressiveness. We were aggressive tonight and that start carried us for the rest of the game.”