Updated at: 03/02/2013 9:08 PM
By DAVID FOLSE II
(AP) RUSTON, La. - Raheem Appleby scored 16 points and No. 25 Louisiana Tech extended the nation’s longest winning streak to 18 games Saturday night, clinching at least a share of its first Western Athletic Conference championship with an 88-61 victory over San Jose State.
Alex Hamilton and Jaron Johnson added 13 points apiece for the Bulldogs (26-3, 16-0 WAC), who can wrap up the outright regular-season title Thursday night with a win at New Mexico State.
It is the first conference crown for Louisiana Tech since its 1999 Sun Belt championship.
Xavier Jones led San Jose State (9-18, 3-13) with 14 points, while D.J. Brown and Chris Cunningham each had 10.
Louisiana Tech hit seven 3-pointers in the first half and used a 16-4 run to go ahead 29-12 en route to a 45-26 halftime lead. The Bulldogs held San Jose State to 33 percent shooting from the field in the opening 20 minutes and forced 12 turnovers.
Riding their sharp shooting from long range, the Bulldogs jumped out to a 10-2 lead on consecutive 3-pointers by Brandon Gibson and Appleby.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)