Idaho helps Hawaii by beating LaTech


POSTED: Friday, March 06, 2009

MOSCOW, Idaho » Trevor Morris scored 14 points, including nine off 3-pointers, last night to lead Idaho over Louisiana Tech 66-58, in a game that gives Hawaii a shot at avoiding the WAC tournament play-in game.

The Vandals (15-14, 8-7 Western Athletic Conference) were down 26-25 at halftime, but went ahead seconds into the second half when Marvin Jefferson powered through the Bulldogs' defense for a layup.

Idaho never relinquished the lead in the second half, but the Bulldogs, led by Kyle Gibson's 25 points, stayed close. Gibson hit four 3-point shots in the second half.

Magnum Rolle scored 10 points for Louisiana Tech (12-19), which finishes the WAC regular season at 6-10 and is half a game ahead of Hawaii for seventh place.

With a home win against New Mexico State tomorrow, the Rainbow Warriors would catch the Bulldogs, but because UH swept LaTech this season, Hawaii would win the tiebreaker. That would put the 'Bows in the WAC tournament quarterfinals instead of the play-in game between the league's No. 8 and 9 teams.


Nevada 89, San Jose State 66

RENO, Nev. » Brandon Fields scored 20 points and Luke Babbitt added 19 to help the Wolf Pack beat the Spartans.

Armon Johnson added 12 points for the Wolf Pack (18-11, 10-5 WAC).

C.J. Webster had 22 points and 12 rebounds for the Spartans (13-15, 6-9 WAC). Justin Graham added 12 points.

Nevada led 39-31 at halftime, but San Jose State opened the second half with an 8-2 run and closed to within two points at 41-39 on a short jumper by Webster with 16:05 left.

The Wolf Pack responded with a 19-5 run, including nine points by Babbitt, and put the game away from the free-throw line down the stretch. The Wolf Pack shot 55.8 percent from the field and held the Spartans to 36 percent shooting.


Boise State 79, Fresno State 65

BOISE, Idaho » Kurt Cunningham scored 15 points and Mark Sanchez had 13 points and eight rebounds to lead the Broncos past the Bulldogs.

Ike Okoye scored 11 points and Jamar Greene added 10 to aid the Broncos (19-10, 9-6 WAC).

Fresno State's Dwight O'Neil led all scorers with 19 points. Paul George added 15 for the Bulldogs (12-19, 3-12).

With the victory, Boise State inched closer to securing its second 20-victory season in a row. The last time Boise State had back-to-back 20-win seasons came during the 1987-88 and 1988-89 seasons.


Top 25
No. 11 Villanova 97, Providence 80

VILLANOVA, Pa. » Scottie Reynolds scored 23 points and the Wildcats finished a perfect season at the Pavilion and earned a double-bye in the Big East tournament with a victory over the Friars.

Reynolds hit three 3s for Villanova (25-6, 13-5) in the second half that stretched the lead into double digits and pushed back a Providence team that badly needed this win to strengthen its NCAA Tournament chances.

Weyinmi Efejuku had 29 points on 9-for-16 shooting for the Friars (18-12, 10-8).


No. 17 Xavier 76, Dayton 59

CINCINNATI » Dante Jackson scored Xavier's first 11 points for a lead that held, and the Musketeers won their third straight Atlantic 10 regular-season championship.

Xavier (24-5, 12-3) joined a short list of A10 heavyweights—no one has dominated like this since UMass and Temple in the 1990s.

Marcus Johnson had 19 points for the Flyers (24-6, 10-5), who haven't beaten Xavier in Cincinnati since 1981, losing their last 24 games on whatever court happens to be Xavier's home.


No. 20 UCLA 79, Oregon State 54

LOS ANGELES » Josh Shipp scored 22 of his career-high 27 points in the first half, when the Bruins (23-7, 12-5) built a 24-point lead on their way to a rout of the Beavers (13-15, 7-10).

Second-place UCLA needs to beat Oregon tomorrow and then wait to see if Washington State can upset No. 16 Washington for them to gain a share of their fourth consecutive Pac-10 regular season championship.


Stanford 74, No. 21 Arizona St. 64

TEMPE, Ariz. » Landry Fields scored 20 points and Stanford handed Arizona State its third straight loss.

Anthony Goods scored 15 points, Lawrence Hill added 13 and Kenny Brown had 12 for the Cardinal (17-11, 6-11 Pac-10), who avenged a 30-point loss to Arizona State in January. Stanford won for the first time in eight conference road games.

James Harden scored 22 points and Jeff Pendergraph had 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Sun Devils (21-8, 10-7), who shot 36 percent from the field.


Penn St. 64, No. 23 Illinois 63

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. » Talor Battle hit a driving shot with 0.3 seconds left to cap Penn State's rally from a 10-point deficit.

The Illini's Mike Davis, a 70 percent free-throw shooter, missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with 8 seconds left. Jamelle Cornley corralled the rebound and handed off to Battle, who dribbled furiously up court and threw up the shot that bounced around the rim before dropping in.

Fans rushed the court after the final buzzer as the Nittany Lions (21-9, 10-7 Big Ten) secured a victory that will help their NCAA Tournament credentials. Battle finished with 15 points.

Demetri McCamey scored 16 points and Mike Tisdale added 12 for Illinois (23-8 11-7), which missed a chance to clinch no lower than the third seed in next week's Big Ten tournament.


WAC standings

Utah St.132.867264.867
Boise St.96.6001910.655
New Mexico St.87.5331514.517
San Jose St.69.4001315.464
Louisiana Tech610.3751417.452
Fresno St.312.2001219.387

Boise St. 79, Fresno State 65
Idaho 66, Louisiana Tech 58
Nevada 89, San Jose State 66

Fresno State vs. Idaho
Nevada vs. Boise
San Jose State vs. Utah State
New Mexico State at Hawaii, 7 p.m. Hawaii time