SLC MBB: ACU earns program’s first win in Nacogdoches at buzzer

Abilene Christian 63, SFA 61

NACOGDOCHES, Texas — In what shaped up to be the Wildcats most important game of the season, ACU pulled out the heroics to earn their first win in Nacogdoches since rejoining the Southland. After a loss on the road at UCA, the Wildcats desperately needed a win at SFA to keep their hopes alive for a top-two seed in the tournament.

With the win the Wildcats remain in contention for a top-two seed in Katy. The Wildcats would need a loss from either Sam Houston or Nicholls, and a win over UIW on Saturday, to secure a top-two seed. Should both Nicholls and SHSU drop their final games of the regular season, the Wildcats could secure the regular season championship with a win over UIW.

Sam Houston 84, A&M-Corpus Christi 61

HUNTSVILLE — The Bearkats have positioned themselves for a shot a regular season Southland Conference championship.

The Sam Houston men’s basketball team (19-7) rolled to an 84-61 victory over Texas A&M-Corpus Wednesday night at Johnson Coliseum to move into a first-place tie atop the lead standings with Nicholls at 13-2 in league action. The Bearkats can clinch the regular season title and the top seed in the SLC tournament with a win over rival Stephen F. Austin Saturday in Huntsville because they have the head-to-head advantage over Nicholls with two wins over the Colonels.

Junior Zach Nutall led Sam Houston with 20 points, while senior Demarkus Lampley added 17 and seven rebounds. Freshman Bryce Monroe scored 10 points, and freshman Kian Scroggins provided a spark off the bench with eight points and seven boards.

Houston Baptist 72, UIW 67

HOUSTON – A big second half from Pedro Castro and a stingy team defensive effort in the final period helped lead the HBU men’s basketball past UIW to give the Huskies a season sweep of the Cardinals and keep HBU’s Southland Conference Tournament hopes alive on Wednesday evening in Sharp Gym.

Castro scored 16 points, including the Huskies’ (5-17, 4-10 SLC) final 10 points of the game, pulled down six rebounds and blocked a pair of shots in the second half. The junior finished the night with his sixth double-double of the season consisting of 18 points and 11 rebounds, both game-highs.

New Orleans 92, Northwestern St. 83

NEW ORLEANS – The Privateers (8-14, 7-7 Southland) began the second half on a 10-0 run and split the regular season series with a 92-83 victory over Northwestern State (9-17, 8-7 Southland) Wednesday evening at Lakefront Arena.

Momentum is on New Orleans’ side as the Privateers have now won four of five and began the final week of the regular season 2-0. The Privateers continued to shoot the ball well, going 37-of-66 from the field. Four student-athletes reached double figures, led by Troy Green’s 19 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. Rodney Carson Jr. added 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting, Damion Rosser posted 13 points and three steals and Ahren Freeman came off the bench with 12 points and five assists.

Central Arkansas 88, Southeastern La. 71

CONWAY, Ark. _ The University of Central Arkansas Bears were shorthanded again Wednesday night but it mattered little as they rolled to an 88-71 victory over the Southeastern Louisiana Lions in Southland Conference play at the Farris Center.

The Bears (5-18, 4-11) dominated in their final home game of the season, connecting on a season-high 13 three-pointers and outrebounding the Lions (7-16, 5-9) by a 43-25 margin, including 16 offensive rebounds. UCA had four players in double figures to avenge an earlier 69-57 loss to the Lions in Hammond, La., on Jan. 27.

The victory, UCA’s second in its last three games over five days, keeps alive the Bears’ hopes for a berth in next week’s SLC Tournament in Katy, Texas.