LAS VEGAS (AP) – Kevin Butler scored 23 points and had a game-clinching steal and layup in the closing seconds to help the UTA Mavericks beat Utah State 83-78 on Thursday night and advance to the Western Athletic Conference tournament semifinals.
Utah State had a chance to tie with a 3-pointer, but Butler stole a pass with 9 seconds left and streaked down the court to score and secure the victory for the fourth-seeded Mavericks (18-12). On Friday, they’ll face ninth-seeded UTSA, which upset top-seeded Louisiana Tech earlier Thursday.
Butler was 8 of 13 from the floor, including three 3-pointers. Karol Gruszecki added 17 points.
Jarred Shaw led the fifth-seeded Aggies (21-10) with 20 points, and Spencer Butterfield had 19.
UTA went ahead for good, 72-70, on Shaquille White-Miller’s 3-pointer with 3:01 to play. Ben Clifford’s 3-pointer with 40 seconds left pulled Utah State within 80-78 before a Butler free throw set up the closing sequence.
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