NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Sam Merrill scored 20 points, DeAngelo Isby added 16 and Utah State defeated New Hampshire 77-63 on Saturday.
Merrill opened the scoring with a 3 and Alex Daregenton followed with a dunk and layup and the Aggies went on to a quick 11-0 lead. A 3-point play by Daron Henson and two Isby free throws pushed the lead to 33-13 with 4:12 left in the first half. It was 39-25 at the break.
"Sam Merrill always leads the way, is very composed and gets us going for three or four games in a row now, he has gotten us started offensively," Aggies coach Tim Duryea said. "Thought he did that again today. But, it was a group effort. It was on the defensive end.
"We took their best player out of the post by double-teaming him, we did a good job when the ball went on the glass of blocking out and limiting them to one shot, and it allowed us to get used to the zone that they started out in, get our feet wet a little bit down there and our defensive stood up on the other end."
Merrill opened the second half with a triple and the Aggies (4-3) kept the lead around 20 until the Wildcats (1-5) scored the last 11 points of the game.
Diogo Brito added 12 points for Utah State, which protected its lead by shooting 50 percent (15 of 30) and making 5 of 10 3-pointers in the second half.
Jordan Reed hit four 3s and scored 16 points for New Hampshire. Iba Camara and Tanner Leissner had 15 points apiece with Camara grabbing 17 rebounds and Elijah Jordan handing out 10 assists.
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