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LOGAN — Utah State was given all it could handle from Penn in the opening matchup of the Myrtle Beach Invitational Wednesday afternoon.
But thanks to Justin Bean and Rylan Jones, the Aggies prevailed over the Quakers, to eek out a thrilling 87-79 double-overtime victory.
Bean found a way to get buckets in every facet — hook shots, floaters, free throws and 3-pointers — and scored a career-high 33 points on 13-of-19 shooting to lead Utah State.
"Clearly the day belongs to Justin," coach Ryan Odom said. "His effort, his willingness to give his body for his team, his willingness to chase rebounds, his ability to be the go-to guy for us at key times, which was the difference in the game."
Jones, who was 10-of-10 from the free-throw line, added 21 points and proved clutch in the overtime period where he scored 12 points.
Both sides had opportunities to win the game in regulation. Tied at 64-64 with seven seconds remaining, a contested shot from Aggies guard RJ Eytle-Rock was blocked, and Penn got the ball back. A deep 3-point attempt from Quaker guard Jordan Dingle rimmed out at the horn.
In the first overtime period, the Quakers jumped out to a 71-68 lead with 2:05 remaining. The Aggies then went on a 5-0 run, capped off by a layup from Brandon Horvath off a nice dish from Bean to take a 73-71 lead. But Penn counterEd as Max Martz hit a deep two with 27 seconds left to force a second overtime.
Jones took over in the second overtime period and found success driving in the lane. He scored 8 points in the second overtime to close the game out for the Aggies.
Early in the second half, it appeared the Aggies would coast to victory. Starting the second half knotted up 28-28, Utah State got hot from beyond the arch. Back to back 3-point shots from Horvath and Steven Ashworth helped extend the lead to 48-37 with 12:25 remaining.
But Penn, and Dingle, who finished with 31 points on 10-of-24 shooting, clawed their way back into the game to take a 56-55 lead with 4:55 to play. A layup from Horvath tied the game up 64-64 with 47 seconds left.
Utah State shot 31-of-67 from the field (46%), 8-of-19 from 3-point range (42%) and a pivotal 17-of-19 from the free-throw line.
Throughout the game, the Quakers defense did a nice job limiting ball movement, and the Aggies had several dribble-heavy drives that resulted in turnovers or contested attempts late in the shot clock; they turned the ball over 15 times.
But the Aggies still did enough to win.
"At the end of the day, we need to have fun and do it together," Bean said. "And I thought we did that; we came together and that's what made it fun for us is just staying together and holding guys accountable and just really staying tight knit during those those tough stretches."
Utah State turns its attention to New Mexico State, who they take on Friday at 10 a.m. MT.