Utah St. 73, Hawaii 70
LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP)—Jaycee Carroll scored 24 points and came up with a late offensive rebound that helped Utah State beat Hawaii 73-70 in the quarterfinals of the Western Athletic Conference tournament on Thursday.
No. 4 seed Utah State (22-10) moves on to play top-seed and No. 10 ranked Nevada (28-3) in Friday’s semifinals.
Hawaii (18-13) might have played its last game under longtime coach Riley Wallace. Wallace, the school’s all-time career leader in wins with 334, announced earlier he was retiring at the end of the season. Barring a bid from the NIT, Wallace’s 20-year tenure with the Rainbow Warriors is over.
Carroll, who had a double-double with 13 rebounds, hit the first of two free throws with 5.9 seconds left for the final margin. The ball went out of bounds in a scramble after Carroll’s miss and Hawaii got the possession, but with just 2.2 seconds left.
Hawaii got the ball to Matt Lojeski, who raced into the frontcourt and put up a 3-pointer that bounced off the back of the rim. Lojeski scored 20 points and Bobby Nash scored 22.
Carroll’s offensive rebound of a missed shot by teammate Chaz Spicer came with 51 seconds left and the Aggies up 69-66. Spicer finished with 20 points.
Nash missed on a 3-pointer with 9 seconds left and Utah State holding a 72-70 lead. Ahmet Gueye nearly came up with an offensive rebound on Nash’s miss, but the Aggies got the ball and Carroll was fouled.
Nash’s miss followed two missed free throws by Utah State’s Durrall Peterson with 19 seconds left. Thirty-seconds earlier Peterson had airballed the first of two free throws.
Hawaii, the No. 5 seed, took a 58-57 lead—its first since the 1:47 mark of the first half—on a 3-pointer by Dominic Waters with 6:50 left. Spicer put the Aggies in front for good (61-59) with a hook shot with 4:58 remaining.
Hawaii hit eight 3-pointers, but the Aggies countered by hitting 19 of 25 free throws.