NCAAB Game Recap - Utah State at San Diego State
Sat Mar 7, 2020 5:30 PM EST

VMI
57
ETSU
70
F
LongI
66
RobM
86
F
Kansas
66
TxTch
62
F
UtSt
59
SDSU
56
F
Maine
50
Vermt
61
F
Denv
69
NDSt
71
F
Murr
75
Belm
76
F
SacHr
72
StFPA
84
F
Woff
77
Furm
68
F
Albany
73
Stony
76
F
IPFW
77
SDSt
74
F
UMassL
75
Hartfo
89
F
GrgWas
51
Dayt
76
F
Chat
78
UNCG
68
F
Pepp
82
StMar
89
F(2OT)
UNH
67
UMBC
73
F
Baylor
64
WVU
76
F
WCU
70
Mercer
56
F
Drake
66
Brad
76
F
USF
72
Pacif
54
F
KY
71
Fla
70
F
Valpa
89
MOSt
82
F
CoCar
63
TexAr
62
F
BC
62
FlaSt
80
F
JMU
61
Elon
63
F
ArkSt
66
ULLa
73
F
Seton
60
Crei
77
F
UNCW
55
Drex
66
F
Lou
54
UVA
57
F
UNC
76
Duke
89
F
Stan
67
Oreg
80
F
Vill
70
GTown
69
F
Aub
85
Tenn
63
F
PSU
69
NW
80
F
Wisc
60
Ind
56
F
Marq
86
StJon
88
F
SCar
74
Vand
83
F
UTEP
77
Rice
72
F
UGA
64
LSU
94
F
LaSal
78
StJos
77
F
Rut
71
Purd
68
F(OT)
VaTec
56
ND
64
F
GMas
65
Ford
61
F
Colora
72
Utah
74
F(OT)
Alab
50
Mizzu
69
F
UCLA
52
USC
54
F
Marsh
82
TexSA
77
F
OkSt
81
Tex
59
F
IaSt
63
KansSt
79
F
Syr
65
Mia-FL
69
F(OT)
NWSt
100
CenAR
85
F
Cal
56
OrSt
74
F
HBU
78
TXAMC
84
F
Ark
69
TexAM
77
F
IdaSt
76
Ida
80
F
Web
69
E WA
78
F
McNee
70
Lamar
66
F
AbCh
71
InWor
68
F(OT)
SamH
57
SFA
68
F
SoMis
62
MidTN
65
F(OT)
Okla
78
TCU
76
F
N CO
75
MTSt
61
F
Corn
85
Princ
82
F
Colum
65
Penn
85
F
Gram
70
AlSt
58
F
TXSo
75
Alc
90
F
PVAM
80
South
89
F(OT)
WaSt
74
AzSt
83
F
Miss
44
MisSt
69
F
DeP
55
Prov
93
F
Charl
43
LaTec
66
F
W Ky
91
FlInt
85
F
SMU
60
SoFL
61
F
URI
64
UMass
63
F
Yale
69
Harv
83
F
Brown
70
Dart
58
F
SeLA
69
NOrl
79
F
JackSt
54
AlaAM
51
F
OlDom
63
UAB
72
F
Temp
63
Cin
64
F
CSBak
61
GrCan
64
F
CBap
76
TexPA
79
F(OT)
StBon
49
StLou
72
F
MsVl
74
ArkPB
71
F
Butl
72
Xav
71
F
S UT
85
Mont
80
F(OT)
UCDav
61
UCRiv
66
F
CAPoly
67
UCSB
69
F
HI
82
CSNor
86
F
Wash
69
Ariz
63
F
Sac
72
PorSt
76
F
LongB
69
CS-Ful
75
F
UMKC
Seatt
Canc
ChiSt
UtVal
Canc

Mar 7, 2020, 5:30 PM EST

Final

1

2

T

(2) Utah State (26-8)

21

38

59

(1) San Diego State (30-2)

29

27

56

Utah St tops No. 5 San Diego State for Mountain West title
Sat Mar 7, 2020 10:25 PM

LAS VEGAS (AP) Sam Merrill once again lifted Utah State to a Mountain West Tournament title.

Merrill hit a contested 3-pointer with 2.5 seconds to play to give the Aggies a 59-56 victory over No. 5 San Diego State and clinch a spot in the NCAA Tournament for the second straight season on Saturday.

The Aztecs (30-2), who led by as many 16 points in the first half, had a chance to force overtime, but Malachi Flynn's 3-point shot from just beyond half court rattled in and out at the buzzer.

The loss was San Diego State's second in its last six games after starting the season 26-0. Meanwhile, Utah State, which entered Saturday's game on the NCAA Tournament bubble, improved to 7-1 in its last eight games. The Aggies (26-8) are back in the Big Dance in consecutive seasons for the first time since a three-year run from 2009-11.

"I know that's easy for me to say being on the victorious side, but that was a whale of a basketball game between two highly competitive, very, very talented teams," said Utah State coach Craig Smith. "It felt like one of those games where whoever is going to have the ball last is going to find a way to win, and then they almost throw in a half-courter. It was a heavyweight fight, and we knew it was going to go 15 rounds. Fortunately for us, we were the last man standing."

Merrill has been shouldering the load for Utah State for most of the last two seasons, so it was hardly a surprise that Smith made sure the ball was in the hands of his senior guard in the waning moments.

After Flynn barely missed a 3-pointer from the wing with 25 seconds left that would've given San Diego State a 59-56 lead, Merrill secured the rebound and calmly dribbled up court. With Aztecs guard KJ Feagin playing tight defense, everyone inside the Thomas & Mack Center knew who would be launching the last-second shot.

With the clock ticking down and Feagin's hand in his face, Merrill left his feet and hit the shot.

"I was just trying to get a good look," Merrill said. "I barely slept last night, partially because the schedule is rough when you play that late-night game Friday night, and it's a quick turnaround. I only got a few hours of sleep, but I was just hoping that I'd get that opportunity. And I had a vision that I was going to. I just threw it up there - well, I mean, I shot it - and it went in."

Feagin said he did all he could do defensively.

"I felt like up until the release of the shot, I was right there on every move," he said. "But props to him for making a good shot."

Unlike in last year's Mountain West Tournament title game, when San Diego State trailed most of the way and lost 64-57, the Aztecs were in total control throughout the first half Saturday. After falling behind 7-2 to start the game, they went on a pair of 11-0 spurts in building a 27-11 lead.

At one point, Utah State went nearly 13 minutes without a field goal, missing 10 straight shots and scoring just four points, all on free throws. Merrill finally snapped the drought when he made three consecutive baskets (including a 3-pointer) in a little over a minute to cut San Diego State's lead to 27-18.

Flynn paced the Aztecs with 16 points, while Yanni Wetzell (12 points, 13 rebounds) recorded a double-double. Neemias Queta (15 points, eight rebounds) was the only player besides Merrill to score in double figures for the Aggies.

"This league has such a rich tradition in men's basketball, and to be able to repeat back to back . that's a difficult, difficult thing to do," Smith said. "And I couldn't be more proud of these young men."

THIRD TIME'S THE CHARM

Utah State dropped both regular-season meetings to San Diego State, losing 77-68 at home and 88-68 on the road.

Flynn and junior forward Matt Mitchell were dominant for the Aztecs in both games, combining for 84 points on 26-of-47 shooting (55.3 percent). However, this time around, both players struggled. Flynn missed 11 of his first 12 shots and finished 6-for-20, while Mitchell made just one of seven field goals, scoring just two points.

SAM I AM

Not only did Utah State claim its second straight conference tournament title, but Merrill won tournament MVP honors for the second year in a row. Merrill finished the three games with 83 points (29-for-52 shooting), 13 rebounds and eight assists. He scored 27 points in the Aggies' quarterfinal victory over New Mexico and 29 in the semifinals against Wyoming before tallying 27 against San Diego State.

Flynn and Feagin joined Merrill on the All-Tournament Team, along with Queta and Wyoming's Kwane Marble II.

UP NEXT:

Utah St: Awaits NCAA Tournament seeding.

San Diego St: Awaits NCAA Tournament seeding.

Leaders

Utah State PTS +/- AST REB ST BLK
S. Bairstow 0 0 0 0 0 0
A. Porter 0 0 2 3 0 0
San Diego State PTS +/- AST REB ST BLK
J. Schakel 0 0 1 1 2 0
M. Flynn 16 0 2 3 2 0

Team Comparison

UtSt SDSU
Points For 59 56
Field Goals 21/48-44% 21/61-34%
Three Pointers 9/24-38% 5/19-26%
Free Throws 8/10-80% 9/10-90%
Offensive Rebounds 8 12
Defensive Rebounds 29 20
Rebounds 40 32
Blocks 4 2
Steals 6 8
Turnovers 16 7
Personal Fouls 11 14
Technical Fouls 0 0
Ejections 0 0

2019-2020 Regular Season - SDSU Leads Series 2-1

Date Result Away Pts Ldr Home Pts Ldr
Sat Jan 4 SDSU 77 @ UtSt 68 N. Narain 2 B. Miller 2
Sat Feb 1 UtSt 68 @ SDSU 80 S. Bairstow 2 N. Narain 2
Sat Mar 7 UtSt 59 @ SDSU 56 B. Miller 2 T. Pulliam 2

Game Information

Stadium: Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, Nevada
Attendance: 10,292
Game Time: