Davis scores 27 in South Alabama’s 81-77 win over New Orleans

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MOBILE, Ala. (AP)—Brandon Davis scored 27 points and Domonic Tilford made two free throws with 10 seconds left, helping top-seeded South Alabama to an 81-77 win over New Orleans Sunday in the quarterfinals of the Sun Belt Conference tournament.

The Jaguars (26-5) avoided a repeat of last year, when they were upset by Middle Tennessee in the quarterfinals as the No. 1 seed. They will face the Middle Tennessee-Troy winner in the semifinals Monday night.

Bo McCalebb, the nation’s leading active career scorer, kept New Orleans (19-13) alive with a pair of free throws with 11 seconds left. The Privateers then quickly fouled Tilford, who hit both attempts. McCalebb missed a quick shot at the other end.

Davis, who had nine rebounds, made 6-of-9 shots and 15-of-20 free throws. South Alabama spent much of the game at the line, going 37-of-49 while making only 20 field goals.

Daon Merritt had 15 points and six assists while leading scorer Demetric Bennett scored 14 for the Jaguars, six below his season average.

McCalebb had 25 points and five assists for New Orleans. He finished his career with 2,679 career points, jumping Wayman Tisdale and David Robinson to move into 21st place in NCAA history.

James Parlow added 13 points while Kyndall Dykes and T.J. Worley each had 12.

South Alabama is 17-0 this season at its home arena, the Mitchell Center, and swept three games with New Orleans.

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