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USU basketball: Utah State rides offensive attack to 75-62 victory over Nevada

Utah State men’s basketball shot a season-high 59.5 percent (25-of-42) from the floor, including a first half season-high of 63.6 percent (14-of-22) to post a 75-62 victory over Nevada on Tuesday night. The win moves the Aggies to 14-10 on the year and 7-5 in the Mountain West, while the Wolf Pack slips to 7-16 and 3-8 with the loss.

The win wrapped up an Aggie sweep of the Wolf Pack this season and ran a winning streak against Nevada to three-straight games.

Utah State opened the contest with 7-0 run with the entire total coming from sophomore wing Jalen Moore on a perfect 3-for-3 clip from the field. The Aggies never lost the lead during the first 20 minutes with the Wolf Pack only coming as close as one in the opening frame. Utah State's advantage grew to as much as 11, 42-31, on a 3-point bucket by freshman guard Julion Pearre with 38 seconds on the clock. A layup by Nevada's Tyron Criswell left the score at 42-33 going into halftime.

Utah State’s 42 points in the opening stanza marked a season high for the Aggies, and the home side’s margin ballooned to 19 points, 58-39, on a Moore 3-pointer with 14:52 to play in the second half. USU’s offense stalled during the next four minutes, allowing the Wolf Pack to get back to within 10, 59-49, but it was as close as the visitors came in the final half. Junior guard Chris Smith converted a pair of free throws with two minutes remaining to punctuate the game, 75-62, and the Aggie victory.

Smith led all scorers with 18 points, where he was a perfect 4-for-4 from the free-throw line, scoring in double figures for the 14th time this season. He was followed closely by Moore with 17 points on 7-of-9 shooting (.778) in addition to pulling down three rebounds and adding two assists and two blocks. Redshirt freshman forward David Collette led the Aggies on the glass with six rebounds and added 14 points, three blocks, two steals and one assists with Pearre rounding out those in double figures with 12 points.

Nevada was led by freshman guard Eric Cooper Jr. with 14 points, and he was followed by Criswell with 12. The Wolf Pack finished the game shooting 41.4 percent (23-of-56) from the floor, 42.9 percent (6-of-14) from long range and 71.4 percent (10-of-14) from the free-throw line.

Utah State shot a season-high 59.5 percent (25-of-42), which is the highest total since 2013 when the Aggies shot 59.6 percent (28-of-47) at Idaho State on Jan. 31, 2013. USU’s total included a 56.3 percent (9-of-16) performance from behind the 3-point line with the team also finding success at the free-throw line, converting 72.7 percent (16-of-22).

The victory marked the 200th conference victory for head coach Stew Morrill at Utah State and put him within two victories of claiming 400 at the helm in Logan.

Utah State has more than a week off until its next game when the Aggies travel to San José State to face the Spartans on Wednesday, Feb. 18 at 8 p.m. MT. The game will be broadcast regionally on ROOT Sports. Fans can also listen to the game live on the Aggie Sports Network with Al Lewis on the call.

Kyle Cottam is the Assistant Athletic Director for Media Relations at Utah State University.