LAS VEGAS (AP) Freshman Raheem Appleby scored seven straight points for Louisiana Tech late in the second half, and the Bulldogs held on for a 72-70 win over Utah State on Thursday night in the Western Athletic Conference quarterfinals after nearly blowing a 10-point lead with four minutes to go.
Appleby, the Bulldogs leading scorer for the season, finished with 13 points as No. 5 seed Louisiana Tech avenged two losses during the regular season to the Aggies and advanced to the semifinals where they will face regular season champion Nevada on Friday night.
Trevor Gaskins and Romario Souza led the Bulldogs with 16 points each.
Appleby and his teammates were on target from deep, hitting 8 of 17 3-point attempts after making just 32 percent during the regular season. But La Tech (17-15) was outscored 11-3 over the final four minutes as Utah State had multiple chances to tie in the final 90 seconds but couldn't pull even. Utah State failed to get a final shot off after Gaskins missed his second free throw with 4.1 seconds remaining.
Danny Berger led Utah State (17-15) with 17 points.