McEwen led the way with 22 of his game-high 27 points coming in the second half. His 27 points set a program single-game record for a freshman in a tournament game. He finished 9-for-12 shooting, including 5-for-5 on 3-pointers.
McEwen's 3-pointer before halftime tied the score at 31 going into the break, and served as the impetus for the second-half surge.
"By the time I got to halftime, I was relieved to be tied at half to be honest," Aggies head coach Tim Duryea said. "I just did not think we played with any rhythm or fluidity in the first half at all. So to be tied, we got a handle for how they were playing us a little bit."
McEwen scored the first eight points of the second half as the Aggies started to get some distance from the Spartans. Later, Moore swooped in to grab a rebound on a missed jumper and went back up for an authoritative two-handed dunk to give the Aggies a 52-42 lead. Soon after that, Moore's traditional three-point play made it 55-44 with 12:41 remaining.
Moore, who started the game the day 3 for 9 from the field, finished with 19 points on 7-for-14 shooting to go with seven rebounds and four assists. Merrill (11 points, eight assists and no turnovers) and Quinn Taylor (11 points) rounded out the scoring leaders for the Aggies.
I just went out, got more aggressive and was playing like I know something has got to fall eventually," Moore said. "… Koby definitely fueled the fire for our team coming out hot. Me and Sam fed off of that, and the rest of the team [did]."
San Jose State pulled within 55-51, but the Aggies replied with an 18-0 run to put the game out of reach.
Moore nearly brought the house down when he took off from the middle of the paint and soared over Cody Schwartz for a transition dunk. Moore got fouled on the play and made a free throw to complete another three-point play to put the Aggies up 68-51. Following a layup by Merrill, McEwen capped the run with a pull-up 3-pointer to give the Aggies a 73-51 lead.
"I didn't really come out saying 'I'm going to start gunning.' It just felt right," McEwen said. "And every time I felt right taking the shot I just shot it and just my instincts took over. And usually when I do that, good things happen."