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WAC Goes 5-1 in BracketBuster Games
Courtesy: Denver
Denver 63, Northern Iowa 57
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CEDAR FALLS, Iowa - (DU Media Relations) University of Denver men's basketball sophomore Brett Olson (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) scored 16 points, including six in the final two minutes, leading the Pioneers to a 63-57 victory at Northern Iowa in the Ramada Worldwide BracketBuster at McLeod Center on Saturday night.

Olson added five rebounds, three steals and two blocks, including one with seven seconds remaining that led to a dunk by senior Chase Hallam (Mesquite, Texas) to seal the victory for the Pioneers (18-8, 13-2 WAC).

Utah State 80, Illinois State 71
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- (USU Media Relations) Junior center Jarred Shaw led four Aggies in double-figures with 18 points to go along with 11 rebounds as Utah State defeated Illinois State, 80-71, in a BracketBusters game Saturday night at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.

Utah State, who has won five of its last seven games, improves to 19-7 on the season and has won three of its last four BracketBusters game in improving to 6-2 all-time in the annual event, including a 2-0 mark against teams from the Missouri Valley Conference. Illinois State, who lost its third-straight game after winning seven of its previous eight, falls to 16-13 with the loss.

New Mexico State 55, UTEP 51
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LAS CRUCES, N.M. -- (NMSU Media Relations) The New Mexico State men's basketball team used a late 16-3 run to defeat I-10 rival UTEP, 55-51. Junior guard Kevin Aronis scored a game-high 11 points to lead the Aggies (19-9, 12-3 WAC) to a season spilt with the Miners (14-12, 7-5 C-USA).

Aronis scored all 11 points in the second half on 4-of-6 shooting from the field, including a 3-of-5 performance from the 3-point line. Senior forward Bandja Sy was also in double figures with 10 points.

Texas State 74, Lamar 61
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Beaumont, Texas – (Texas State Media Relations) Joel Wright lifted Texas State to a 74-61 victory over Lamar in its ESPN BracketBusters game sponsored by Ramada. Wright recorded his eighth 20-point scoring game of the season to help the Bobcats snap their five-game losing streak.

Wright registered 27 points, seven rebounds, six assists, and four blocked shots. Deonte' Jones added 19 points (6-for-11; 3-PT FG). Matt Staff recorded his fifth double-double of the season with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Texas State shot 42.6 percent from the floor and 63.6 percent from the free throw line.

With a 10-point halftime advantage, Texas State started the second half ready to play. Phil Hawkins completed a three-point play to begin the period and the rest of the Bobcats paid attention.

UTSA 76, Nicholls 58
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SAN ANTONIO — (UTSA Media Relations) Kannon Burrage, Jeromie Hill and Michael Hale III combined for 49 points and UTSA raced past Nicholls, 76-58, on Saturday afternoon in the 11th annual Ramada WorldWide BracketBusters at the Convocation Center.

Burrage poured in a game-high 17 points, 14 of which came in the second half, while Hill and Hale III scored 16 apiece to help the Roadrunners (7-19) win their second consecutive game and first home contest since Nov. 17 (67-59 USC Upstate).

Idaho 75, Idaho State 69

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-- (UI Media Relations) Connor Hill hit six 3-pointers, including a stretch of four straight early in the second half, and the Idaho men's basketball team escaped Pocatello with a 75-69 BracketBuster win over Idaho State. Idaho snaps a four-game losing streak overall and a five-game losing streak in the series against Idaho State.

Hill's flurry of 3-pointers in the second half came after a 1-of-7 first-half 3-point performance.

"They were wide open looks I just couldn't knock them down, and I was frustrated," Hill said of his first-half. "I really felt like I should have made three, four or five more, but I'm just happy to get the win. All I needed was one to go in and that's when you get in a rhythm so it was a good feeling to hit four in a row. That's what you have to do as a shooter, just keep shooting."

UC Irvine 77, UT Arlington 70
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ARLINGTON, Texas – (UTA Media Relations) UC Irvine snapped UT Arlington’s five-game winning streak by defeating the Mavericks 77-70 Saturday night at College Park Center in the Ramada Worldwide Bracketbusters.

UT Arlington (15-10) completed the nonconference portion of the schedule with the setback. The Mavericks' last four regular-season games are back in the Western Athletic Conference, beginning with San Jose State at College Park Center on Feb. 28.
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