HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) -- Michael Holyfield had 17 points and 17 rebounds as Sam Houston State never trailed in an 80-61 victory over New Orleans Saturday.
The Bearkats held a commanding 43-22 halftime lead and were ahead 63-44 with 8:54 remaining.
SHSU (21-9, 13-5 Southland Conference) finished in third place in the conference standings, which assures the Bearkats a first round bye in the tournament beginning March 12. The Bearkats, who finished one game behind Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, will open tournament play on Thursday.
New Orleans (11-15, 8-10) was led by Cory Dixon with 19 points. Christavious Gill added 10. The Privateers closed the season on a four-game losing streak.
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