Stephen F. Austin (31-2) won its 28th consecutive game and finished off its perfect Southland Conference record in a convincing 68-49 win over Sam Houston State (23-10).
The Lumberjacks, who have not lost since November 23, used a strong defensive effort and balanced scoring attack that featured five different players scoring at least seven points. Sophomore guard Thomas Walkup led the way with 19 points, five rebounds and four assists while shooting 8-of-10 from the field.
Senior Deshaunt Walker scored 12 off the bench and Southland Conference player of the year Jacob Parker notched a double-double with 10 points and 12 boards.
The Lumberjacks shot 49 percent from the field to earn the school’s first trip to the NCAA tournament since 2009. SFA only led by five points at halftime, but scored 10 of the first 13 points in half two to extend the lead. Sam Houston never cut the lead closer than 14 points for the rest of the game.