Utah State’s first matchup in the Mountain West Tournament was tougher than the Aggies would have hoped.

No. 2 seed USU overcame 24 turnovers, though, and made several key plays down the stretch to top No. 7 seed New Mexico 91-83 in Thursday’s quarterfinal action and advance.

With the Aggies nursing a six-point lead, Diogo Brito stole the ball with 38 seconds to play and USU added a pair of free throws from MW Player of the Year Sam Merrill to extend its lead to eight before holding on down the stretch.

Merrill, who dealt with foul trouble, had 23 points, nine assists and four rebounds to pace the Aggies (26-6). Justin Bean added a double-double with 14 points and 15 rebounds, while Neemias Queta had 16 points, six rebounds and six blocks.

Utah State advances to the tournament semifinals, where it will face the winner of Fresno State and Air Force on Friday at 9:30 p.m. MT. The game will be televised on CBS Sports Network.

This story will be updated.

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Source:: Deseret News – Top stories


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