Conference final roundup: Louisiana, Furman end NCAA droughts

Themus Fulks scored a game-high 23 points and Jalen Dalcourt made a critical jumper with 28 seconds left to lead second-seeded Louisiana past eighth-seeded South Alabama 71-66 in the Sun Belt Conference tournament final on Monday in Pensacola, Fla.

The Ragin’ Cajuns (26-7) trailed by four at halftime but came back to establish a 65-59 lead. South Alabama cut it two and sent Tyrell Jones to the line with 53 seconds left, but he missed the second of two free throws.

Dalcourt scored at the other end to make it 67-64 Louisiana, and his teammates were able to ice it from there with foul shots.

Dalcourt scored 13 points off the bench, hitting 3 of 4 attempts from 3-point range. Jordan Brown logged 13 points and 16 rebounds and Terence Lewis II scored 12 points for Louisiana, which will make its ninth official trip to the NCAA Tournament and its first since 2014.

The Jaguars (19-16) wasted a 33-point effort from Isaiah Moore, who went 10-for-20 from the floor and 12-for-15 from the foul line.

Furman 88, Chattanooga 79

Jordan Slawson tallied 20 points, five rebounds and four assists and JP Pegues added 17 points, six rebounds and four assists as the top-seeded Paladins held off the seventh-seeded Mocs to win the Southern Conference championship game in Asheville, N.C.

Furman (27-7) earned its first bid to the NCAA Tournament since 1980. The Paladins led by as many as 19 points and by 12 with 1:18 to go, but they had to survive a late scoring surge by the Mocs (18-17) that included six of Jamal Johnson’s 17 points on a three-point play and a 3-pointer.

Mike Bothwell scored 16 points, Alex Williams had 12 points and six rebounds and guard Marcus Foster added eight points and nine rebounds for Furman. Chattanooga center Jake Stephens led all scorers with 25 points while adding eight rebounds, and A.J. Caldwell had 14 points and 10 boards.

–Field Level Media

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Field Level Media was founded by sports media executives with more than 40 years of combined experience working with the most influential media companies in the industry.

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