Portland St. starts strong, holds off Utah St. for 83-79 win

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Bryce Canda and Michael Mayhew had 17 points apiece as Portland State charged out to an early lead and then held on to defeat Utah State 83-79 on Monday night to remain unbeaten.

Deante Strickland nailed a 3-pointer that led to Portland State (4-0) closing the first period on a 21-11 run to go into the break leading 45-29.

Utah State (2-3), which lost to No. 17 Gonzaga on Saturday night, started sluggish but got a spark in the second half, as the Aggies hit their first six shots, opening on a 15-5 run to close to 50-44 with 17:14 left. The Aggies took the lead when Sam Merrill, who had 18 of his career-high 23 points in the second half, made two free throws to lead 60-58 with 8:15 left.

Portland State retook the lead on two Traylin Farris free throws with 5:49 remaining. The Vikings made nine free throws down the stretch to seal the win.

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