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Play dog-tired? Not Fresno State
Bulldogs beat CSU; SMU, Rice also advance

SHARE Play dog-tired? Not Fresno State
Bulldogs beat CSU; SMU, Rice also advance

LAS VEGAS -- Jerry Tarkanian was afraid his Fresno State team would tire down the stretch. Instead, Chris Herren led the Bulldogs on a late surge Tuesday to open the Western Athletic Conference tournament with a 80-59 win over Colorado State.

Herren scored seven of his 22 points during an 11-0 second half run that broke open a close game and put the Bulldogs into a Thursday quarterfinal game against Tulsa.Fresno State (21-10), coming off a regular season-ending road trip that had a stop in San Diego and then in Hawaii Saturday night, showed no ill effects from the travel as the Bulldogs held Colorado State (17-10) to only 10 points in the last 14 minutes of the game to pull out the win.

Milt Palacio had 26 points for Colorado State but his teammates managed only three points between them in the final 14 minutes of the game.

Courtney Alexander added 16 points for Fresno State, while Melvin Ely had 13 of his 15 points during the second half.

SMU 65, UTEP 64: Renaldo Bratton, who had missed his only shot of the game, made a layup with one second remaining to give Southern Methodist a 65-64 victory over UTEP.

Bratton took an inbounds pass with seven seconds left and drove the length of the floor on his way to the game-winning basket.

UTEP's Sharif Fajardo hit two free throws with 7 seconds left for a 64-63 lead. He made four free throws in the final two minutes to get the Miners (16-12) close.

Stephen Woods led SMU with 20 points, including five 3-pointers. Willie Davis had 11 points for the Mustangs (14-14) and Damon Hancock chipped in with 10. SMU's leading scorer, Jeryl Sasser, finished with nine points and eight rebounds.

William Smith had 20 points for UTEP and Jarvis Mullahon finished with 18 points on 6-of-9 shooting from 3-point range for the Miners. Brandon Wolfram had 11 points and 12 rebounds for UTEP and Fajardo finished with 10 points and nine rebounds.

RICE 64, SAN JOSE STATE 61: Robert Johnson scored 26 points as Rice rallied to take a 64-61 victory over San Jose State in the first round of the WAC men's basketball tournament Tuesday.

Rice, trailing 48-45 with just more than nine minutes left, went on a 16-0 run to build a 56-48 lead with 5:47 remaining.

Johnson keyed the run with two 3-pointers for the Owls (18-9).

San Jose State (12-16) had a chance to tie the game at the buzzer, but Michael Quinney's 3-point shot rimmed out as time expired.

The Spartans were able to stay close because of the Owls' 7-for-18 free-throw shooting in the final six minutes.

Erik Cooper had 21 points and six rebounds for Rice, and Mike Wilks added seven rebounds and seven assists.

Shaun Murray scored 14 points and pulled down eight rebounds for San Jose State.