National Basketball Association
Utah St. 81, Nevada 76
When: 8:30 PM ET, Saturday, March 2, 2019
Where: Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, Logan, Utah
Officials: # Shawn Lehigh, # Bob Staffen, # DG Nelson
Attendance: 10387

Sam Merrill scored a game-high 29 points as Utah State moved into first place in the Mountain West with an 81-76 upset of No. 12 Nevada on Saturday night in Logan, Utah.

Diogo Brito finished with 15 points and eight rebounds, and Neemias Queta added 13 points and 11 rebounds for the Aggies (24-6, 14-3), who can clinch at least a share of the first Mountain West regular-season title in school history on Tuesday night with a win at Colorado State.

Caleb Martin scored 23 points and had nine rebounds, and Tre'Shawn Thurman finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds for Nevada (26-3, 13-3), which shot just 36.4 percent, including 6-of-23 from 3-point range. The Wolf Pack still have two games remaining -- Tuesday night at Air Force and next Saturday night at home against San Diego State -- in their quest to garner at least a share of their third consecutive conference title.

Nevada, which cruised to a 72-49 victory over the Aggies in the first meeting on Jan. 2 in Reno, took a 12-11 lead on a Thurman dunk with 11:45 to go in the first half. But Utah State then went on an 8-0 run over the next two minutes, featuring back-to-back 3-pointers by Merrill, and led by as many as nine points before settling for a 37-33 halftime lead.

Utah State opened the second half with a 9-3 run capped by a 3-pointer by Brock Miller to extend its lead to 10 points, 46-36. A steal and free throw by Brito gave the Aggies their largest lead, 56-43, with 12:45 remaining, but Nevada slowly chipped away and closed to within two, 65-63, on a pair of Jazz Johnson free throws with 4:22 to go.

Two free throws by Merrill gave Utah State a 74-68 lead with 51.5 seconds left, but Cody Martin answered with a 3-pointer eight seconds later. Justin Bean and Miller both hit two free throws sandwiched between a Caleb Martin turnover to make it 78-71 with 30 seconds to go, and Nevada never got any closer than four points the rest of the way.

--Field Level Media

Top Game Performances
Nevada   Utah St.
Caleb Martin 23 Scoring Sam Merrill 29
Cody Martin 3 Assists Abel Porter 4
Tre'Shawn Thurman 10 Rebounds Neemias Queta 11
Caleb Martin 9 Free Throws Made Sam Merrill 9
Tre'Shawn Thurman 3 Steals Diogo Brito 2
Tre'Shawn Thurman 2 Blocks Quinn Taylor 4
Team Stats Summary
Team Points FG% 3PM-3PA FTM-FTA Assists Rebounds Blocks Steals Turnovers
Nevada 76 36.4 6-23 22-34 8 38 4 7 11
Utah St. 81 47.1 5-17 28-37 16 40 5 6 11