Utah Advances to WAC Semifinals

United Press International

Manuel Hendrix hit the game-winning shot for the second consecutive game, sending Utah to a 66-64 victory over Air Force Wednesday night in the second round of the Western Athletic Conference basketball tournament.

Hendrix, who had a game-high 21 points against Air Force, also hit a twisting 23-foot jumper at the buzzer Monday night as the Utes defeated Wyoming, 61-60, in the opening round.

Utah advances to play regular-season champion Texas El Paso in the tournament semifinals Friday night at El Paso. San Diego State plays New Mexico in the other semifinal game on Friday. The winners meet Saturday for the WAC's automatic NCAA tournament berth.

Hendrix, a 5-foot 11-inch junior guard, scored 13 points in the second half, including his game-winning basket with five seconds left. Jerry Storman added 18 points for Utah (15-15) and Albert Springs had 15.

The Utes jumped to a 36-27 lead late in the first half, only to watch Air Force use a 27-13 spree for a 54-49 lead with eight minutes left. But Hendrix scored 5 straight points to get the Utes back in it.

The Utes, dubbed the "Cardiac Kids" by their fans, have won their last four games by a total of 5 points.

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