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LOGAN — Freshman guard Koby McEwen tied a true freshman single-game scoring record with a career-high 28 points, including 24 in the second half alone, as Utah State defeated UNLV, 79-63, in a Mountain West contest Saturday afternoon at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
McEwen, who has scored in double figures in seven-straight games, matched the 28 points scored by former Aggie Jaycee Carroll in a home game against UC Santa Barbara on Jan. 6, 2005.
Fellow true freshman guard Sam Merrill added 14 points for the Aggies (8-7, 2-2 MW), who shot 52.6 percent from the field (30-of-57), including 61.9 percent from 3-point range (13-of-21). Senior wing Jalen Moore chipped in 14 points and has now scored in double figures in 28 straight games.
McEwen also matched redshirt sophomore wing Alexis Dargenton with a game-high seven rebounds, to go along with a team- and career-best six assists and a career-high two blocks. Seven different Aggies recorded at least one assist as Utah State had 20 helpers on 30 baskets.
Christian Jones was the lone UNLV player to finish in double figures with 17 points. The Runnin’ Rebels (8-9, 1-3) shot just 36.9 percent from the field (24-of-65) and were an icy 16.7 percent from beyond the arc (3-of-18).
After taking just three shots in the first half, McEwen heated up after intermission by shooting 9-for-10 from the field, including 4-for-4 from 3-point range. He ignited a game-changing 31-11 run for the Aggies that snapped a 48-all tie and gave the hosts a 77-59 lead with 2:01 to go.
During that run, McEwen scored 11 straight points for Utah State and also spearheaded a stretch where Utah State knocked down six-consecutive 3-pointers – three by the freshman, one by senior guard Shane Rector, one by junior guard Julion Pearre and one by sophomore forward Quinn Taylor.
Merrill hit a pull-up jumper with 12:03 remaining in the first half to give the Aggies a 20-12 lead, but the Runnin’ Rebels used a 16-4 run to grab a 28-24 advantage with 6:02 to go.
Utah State countered with a 13-3 run to end the first half and take a 37-31 lead into the break.
Up next for Utah State is a trip to Laramie, Wyoming, for a matchup with Wyoming on Wednesday, Jan. 11. Tipoff from Arena Auditorium is slated for 7 p.m., and will be televised live on ROOT Sports.