LAS VEGAS - The Idaho women's basketball team likes to make it exciting.
Fresh off a buzzer-beater to win Wednesday's quarterfinal, the Vandals again broke a tie in the waning seconds Friday.
Addie Schivo hit two free throws with 3.5 seconds left to give Idaho an 84-82 win over Utah State and a shot at No. 1 seed Seattle in the title game Saturday. The winner goes to the NCAA Tournament.
"It's crazy two in a row," coach Jon Newlee said. "You've got to make your own luck, and I certainly think we have."
Third-seeded Idaho (16-15), which had lost three of its last five regular season games by two points apiece, pulled down 19 offensive rebounds. None was more important than Schivo's follow of Krissy Karr's missed layup. Utah State, the second seed (18-13), knotted the score at 82-82, but Schivo was fouled on the other end as she tried to convert the miss.
"It was a little nerve-wracking, but when I hit the first one, I felt good and knew I could hit the second one," Schivo said.
Idaho trailed 54-46, but rattled off a 22-5 run to lead by as many as nine.
Stacey Barr led five Vandals in double figures with 26 points. Alyssa Charlston, Jessica Graham and Karr had 12 points apiece, while Ali Forde had 10 points and 14 rebounds.
The Aggies were led by guard Devyn Christensen, who had 37 points, second-most in a game in school history. The Vallivue High grad, who is Utah State's all-time leading scorer (1,535 points), scored 17 points in the last 6:32.
"I've never been one to shy away from pressure, and I was feeling good, feeling dialed in, and wanted to take the shots that were there when I had space," Christensen said.
The Vandals now take on Seattle (20-9), an 80-61 winner over Louisiana Tech. Seattle beat Idaho twice this year by a combined seven points.
"I told our team that we've got to keep fighting and that good things will happen when we get to Las Vegas. The odds had to change," Newlee said.
The Vandals' only NCAA Tournament appearance was in 1985.