Gilder’s jumper with seconds left lifts Northwestern State to win

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NATCHITOCHES, La. (AP)—Trey Gilder scored three go-ahead baskets in the final 1:31 Saturday, capped by an 8-foot jumper with 4.5 seconds left, to lift Northwestern State to a 75-74 win over Central Arkansas in the Southland Conference regular-season finale for both teams.

The win, the second 1-point victory over UCA in a month for the Demons, propelled them into a first-round game on Thursday in the league tournament. Northwestern State (13-17, 9-7) will play in-state rival Southeastern Louisiana, which denied Lamar the outright conference championship with an 83-73 win later Saturday.

Gilder had 16 points in a game featuring 14 lead changes and six ties. He put Northwestern State up by two twice late, with 1:31 left and with 57 seconds to go, before the Bears answered with a go-ahead 3-pointer from Marcus Pillow with 40 seconds remaining.

A foul on UCA (14-16, 4-12) with 26 seconds left reset the 35-second shot clock and the Demons held possession until Gilder missed a baseline jumper with seven seconds shwoing, but the ball went out of bounds underneath the Demons’ basket a second later.

After a Demons’ timeout, point guard Michael McConathy found Gilder open on the inbound pass about 8 feet from the basket on the right wing, and the 6-foot-9 senior forward—the third leading scorer in the SLC—hit the game-winning jumper with 4.5 seconds left.

The Bears rushed the ball up court after a timeout but a twisting, running 3-pointer by leading scorer Nate Bowie bounded off the mark at the final buzzer. Bowie, the leading scorer in the conference, capped his career with 29 points.

Keithan Hancock scored 14 and Colby Bargeman added 12 for the Demons.

York Sims scored 17, Durrell Nevels 13 and Pillow had 11 for UCA, which got a game-high 10 rebounds by Nevels.

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
 Central Arkansas
Nate Bowie Nate Bowie
9-19,  29 Pts
3 Rebs, 1 Assists
 Northwestern St.
Keithan Hancock Keithan Hancock
5-9,  14 Pts
3 Rebs, 2 Assists

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Saturday, Mar 8