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  1. DenverO'NEALE18
  2. Louisiana TechAPPLEBY12
Thomas Assembly CenterRuston, LA
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RUSTON, La. (AP) -- Raheem Appleby scored eight of his 12 points in the first half as Louisiana Tech defeated Denver 68-60 Saturday night in the Western Athletic Conference opener for both teams.

Kenneth Smith and Kenyon McNeail added 10 points each for the Bulldogs (10-3), who came in having lost two of their previous four games.

Louisiana Tech took the lead at 6-4 and never relinquished it as the Pioneers have yet to win a road game.

Ahead 32-26 at halftime, the Bulldogs expanded their cushion to 47-37 with 12:04 left.

Denver (4-7) could get no closer than six, the last time at 58-52 with 6:50 to go. Louisiana Tech ended the threat with five straight points.

Royce O'Neale led Denver with 18 points. The Pioneers came in leading the conference with a 75.2-percent free-throw percentage (100 of 133), but made 10 of 17 (58.8 percent), 5 of 10 in the second half.

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