LAS VEGAS (AP) — Essence Booker scored 22 points, Desi-Rae Young added 20 and No. 21 UNLV held off San Diego State for a 71-68 victory on Tuesday night in a Mountain West Conference semifinal.
UNLV (30-2) has won 21 straight and will play in its second consecutive title game, facing the Colorado State-Wyoming winner on Wednesday.
The Rebels had an 11-point lead early in the fourth quarter before the Aztecs pulled to 60-59 with 1:15 remaining. Booker scored six of the Rebels’ next nine points to push the lead to 69-62 with 22 seconds left.
Sophia Ramos and Abby Prohaska hit back-to-back 3-pointers to get the Aztecs within one before Booker’s two free throws capped the scoring with six seconds remaining. Kiara Jackson blocked Ramos’ 3-point attempt to end it.
Booker was 4 of 15 from the floor and 13 of 14 from the free-throw line. Young was 7-of-15 shooting and grabbed 13 rebounds. Justice Ethridge added 15 points for the top-seeded Rebels.
Ramos scored 17 points to lead fifth-seeded San Diego State (23-10). Abby Prohaska added 15 points, Yummy Morris had 14 and Kim Villalobos 10.
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