AP NEWS

No. 17 Utah State pulls away to beat NC A&T 81-54

November 16, 2019
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North Carolina A&T forward Devin Haygood (23) shoots as Utah State forward Justin Bean (34) and center Trevin Dorius defend during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Friday, Nov. 15, 2019, in Logan, Utah. (AP Photo/Eli Lucero)
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North Carolina A&T forward Devin Haygood (23) shoots as Utah State forward Justin Bean (34) and center Trevin Dorius defend during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Friday, Nov. 15, 2019, in Logan, Utah. (AP Photo/Eli Lucero)

LOGAN, Utah (AP) — Alphonso Anderson had 21 points, six rebounds and three assists and Justin Bean added 18 points, 10 rebounds and three assists to help No. 17 Utah State beat North Carolina A&T 81-54 on Friday night.

“I thought we did some really good things,” Utah State coach Craig Smith said. “I thought we did a great job on the glass, outrebounding them 44-28, held them to 35% on the game, and 22 assists on 29 made baskets.”

Ronald Jackson led North Carolina A&T with 15 points.

“I thought we went toe-to-toe with a very, very, very good program for maybe 30-31 minutes and then talent started to take over,” North Carolina A&T coach Jay Joyner said.

With North Carolina A&T (1-3) rallying in the second half, Utah State (4-0) made a key run to pull away.

After trailing by as much as 15 points, North Carolina A&T cut it to six points on Fred Cleveland’s 3-pointer with 14:03 left. Utah State regrouped and went on a 9-0 run over the next two minutes to make it 51-36. Utah State took advantage of three North Carolina A&T turnovers, with Bean scoring five of the Aggies’ nine points.

“In the second half, when we had that lineup of small ball creating mismatches and scoring at will, I think that really helped us to extend our lead,” Bean said.

For the third straight game, Utah State raced to a big lead, getting out to a 12-2 advantage. North Carolina A&T rallied through the first half to climb within eight points on Tyler Maye’s jumper.

Utah State finished the half on a 10-3 run to take a 38-23 lead.

SCORING DISTRIBUTION

Utah State has had a different leading scorer in every game this season. Merrill scored 28 points in the Aggies’ season-opening win over Montana State, Bean had 18 in a blowout victory over Weber State, and Brock Miller had 27 in the win over Denver.

BIG PICTURE

North Carolina A&T: North Carolina A&T hung with Utah State at points in the game and forced 15 Utah State turnovers, getting contributions from Jackson, Maye and Cleveland.

Utah State: Utah State was able to make runs at opportune times to pull away from North Carolina A&T. Sophomore center Neemias Queta sat out again, rehabbing his knee injury.

UP NEXT

North Carolina A&T: At North Texas on Tuesday night.

Utah State: Host UTSA on Monday night.