NE Louisiana 87, Texas-Arlington 60
MONROE, La. (AP) _ Substitute Chris Crease scored 21 points and Northeast Louisiana held the nation’s No. 4 offensive team 36 points under its average in beating Texas- Arlington, 87-60, Saturday for the Southland Conference Tournament title.
The victory puts Northeast Louisiana (24-7) into an NCAA play-in game here Wednesday night against the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tournament winner.
Northeast Louisiana won its 15th straight game and its 24th in a row at home in Ewing Coliseum. The Indians are the first team to ever win the SLC season and tournament titles two years in a row.
Texas-Arlington, which came into the game averaging 95.8 points a game, ended the season at 20-9 overall - its best record in 10 years.
Northeast tled 41-27 at halftime and didn’t allow UTA to reach the 50-point mark until there was only 1:15 left in the game.
Crease made all seven of his field goal attempts. He also guarded UTA’s leading scorer, 6-9 Bobby Kenyon, for most of the game and held him to 13 points. Kenyon had scored 32 points in UTA’s semifinal victory over North Texas Thursday.
Anthony Jones had 18 points for Northeast Louisiana and was named the tourney’s Most Valuable Player for the second year in a row.
Casey Jones scored 12 points for Northeast and Funchess had 10.
Leonard Wilson led UTA with 16 points and Eric Gore had 14. Kenyon had 11 rebounds for UTA.