Irvine, Calif. • Quinn Taylor scored 21, Neemias Queta had his first career double-double and Utah State never trailed in an 89-65 win over UC Irvine on Saturday night.
Queta had 11 points and a career-high 19 rebounds. As late as the 7:22 mark in the second half, Queta had more rebounds than the entire UC Irvine team and the Aggies (7-1) finished with a 41-27 edge on the glass.
Taylor made a career-high five 3-pointers on seven attempts from 3-point range and Utah State made 13 of 24. The Anteaters (7-2) missed their first 11 3-point attempts and finished 1 of 14 from behind the arc.
Utah State pulled away when Taylor and Diogo Brito hit back-to-back 3-pointers to spark an 18-5 run. Sam Merrill capped the run with a jumper that made it 33-19 with 3:07 left in the first half.
Merrill scored 17 and reached 1,000 points for his career. Dwayne Brown Jr. added 10 for Utah State, which won its second in a row after its first loss of the season.
Eyassu Worku had 11 points to lead UC Irvine, which has lost two of three since opening the season with six straight wins.
Utah Valley 98, Denver 75 • In Orem, Conner Toolson scored a season-high 26 points and the Wolverines led from the opening minute in a win over the Pioneers.
Toolson was 5 of 10 from 3-point range and the Wolverines (6-3) made 13 of 29 3-point attempts while hitting 31 of 58 overall from the field.
Utah Valley opened the game with a 14-5 spurt, had a 17-3 run in the middle of the first half and led 53-37 at the break. Joe Rosga’s 3-pointer pulled the Pioneers (2-6) to 63-47 and then the Wolverines went on a 15-0 run and led by at least 23 the rest of the way.
TJ Washington had 17 points for Utah Valley. Jake Toolson added 15 points, Benjamin Nakwaasah scored 14, and Baylee Steele chipped in with 10 points and eight boards.
Ronnie Harrell Jr. scored 20 and Ade Murkey added 17 points for Denver.