Jordan Johnson scored four points during an 8-2 spurt to give UNLV a 78-76 lead with two minutes left. Merrill made a 3-pointer, McEwen hit a 3 and made two free throws, and Dwayne Brown Jr. split a pair from the line to seal it for Utah State (10-7, 3-1 Mountain West).
McEwen was 6 of 16 from the field and made all eight of his free throws. Merrill was 8-of-15 shooting and made three 3-pointers. Brown finished with 15 points and Daron Henson chipped in 12.
Brandon McCoy scored 23 points on 9-of-11 shooting from the field to lead UNLV (12-4, 1-2). Johnson added 16 points.
Jim Calhoun, who has a career record of 873-380 and led UConn to three national titles before retiring in 2012, has been hired as coach at Saint Joseph.
Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott believes a tentative ruling making show-cause orders illegal in California would threaten NCAA membership for state schools.
Guard James Bouknight, ranked 87th in the ESPN 100, is the first player from the Class of 2019 to commit to UConn and first-year coach Dan Hurley.