Lofton, New Mexico St. beat Seattle 84-79 in WAC semis
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Zach Lofton scored 31 points, including six 3-pointers, and Jemerrio Jones had his 19th double-double of the season to help New Mexico State beat Seattle 84-79 on Friday night in Western Athletic Conference Tournament.
Jones finished with 12 points and 22 rebounds, his fifth game with at least 20 rebounds this season. AJ Harris added 16 points and Keyon Jones scored 12 for top-seeded New Mexico State (27-5).
The Aggies, who have won five in a row, will play No. 3 seed Grand Canyon in the championship game on Saturday. New Mexico State swept the regular-season series with Antelopes.
Harris made a layup that gave the Aggies the lead for good and sparked a 7-0 spurt that made it 71-65 with 4:26 to play. Josh Hearlihy’s jumper cut Seattle’s deficit to 81-79 with 21 seconds left, but Lofton answered with two free throws before Harris added another to cap the scoring.
Hearlihy and Jordan Hill led the fourth-seeded Redhawks (20-13) with 23 points apiece.
Lofton hit three 3s in the first six minutes as New Mexico State took a 13-point lead. He added two more 3-pointers before a third by Jonathan Wilkins made it 34-20 with five minutes left in the half. The Redhawks scored 23 of the final 26 first-half points to take a six-point lead into the break.