Utah St pulls away from Colorado St in Mountain West, 76-65
- Syracuse, Oregon meet after upset losses
- No. 16 Hokies roll into Charleston final
- Kansas St. highlights Paradise Jam field
- Newcomers key Baylor's rout of Nicholls
- Wake pulls away from Cal State Fullerton
LAS VEGAS (AP) Koby McEwen scored 14 of his 25 points in the second half when Sam Merrill had all 11 of his points and seventh-seeded Utah State pulled away for a 76-65 win over 10th-seeded Utah State in a first-round game of the Mountain West Conference Tournament on Wednesday.
Dwayne Brown Jr., added 15 points and Julion Pearre 14 for the Aggies (16-16), who face second-seeded Boise State in the quarterfinals on Thursday.
Utah State erased a 15-point deficit and trailed 35-33 at the half. Merrill had back-to-back baskets in a 6-0 run that put the Aggies up for good, 47-44 with 14 minutes to go. The lead got as high as seven before the Rams cut it to 68-65 on a 3-point play by Deion James with 4 1/2 minutes to go. However, Utah State scored the last eight points of the game while the Rams missed their last six shots and finished 1 for 10.
The Aggies, despite going 1 of 10 from distance, shot 56 percent in the second half with a 22-14 rebounding advantage.
Anthony Bonner had 15 points and Prentiss Nixon 14 for the Rams (11-21), who had a tumultuous season with the suspension resignation of head coach Larry Eustachy followed by the suspension of interim coach Steve Barnes. They lost 12 of their last 13 games.
Updated March 7, 2018