NATCHITOCHES, La. (AP) _ J.R. Whittaker's 14 points included two free throws in the final minute Saturday night as Northwestern Louisiana edged Stephen F. Austin 74-73 in Southland Conference basketball.

Tarius Brown scored 24 points to lead Northwestern (12-10, 7-7) Eric Leftwich had 20 points for Stephen F. Austin (10-11, 6-7).

Whittaker hit two free throws with 50 seconds left to break a 72-72 tie.

The Lumberjacks, who lost for only the third time in the last nine games, had three opportunities to tie or take the lead after Whittaker's two free throws.

Vasco Tonch hit one of two free throws with 42 seconds left to get Stephen F. Austin within 74-73. Northwestern's Seth LeGrand missed a 1-and-1 free throw with 30 seconds left and Stephen F. Austin's Leftwich rebounded, but Royal Bridgeforth's 14-footer with nine seconds left was off the mark for Stephen F. Austin and Brown rebounded for Northwestern.

Ryan Bundy missed two free throws with three seconds left and Stephen F. Austin's Leftwich finally controlled the rebound with just over a second remaining. After a series of timeouts, LeGrand batted away Stephen F. Austin's first inbounds pass but it fell out of bounds, leaving time on the clock. Leftwich caught the ball about 35 feet from the basket but couldn't get off a shot before the buzzer.