Senior guard Derick Beltran had 13 points and seven rebounds, helping top-seeded Southern secure an NCAA Tournament bid with a 45-44 victory over fourth-seeded Prairie View A&M in the championship game of the Southwestern Athletic Conference Tournament on Saturday at Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, Texas.
Beltran was the only player who scored in double figures for Southern (23-9), which has won three in a row and seven of eight.
Senior guard Jordan DeMuynck had 15 points and nine rebounds for Prairie View A&M (15-19), which was making its first SWAC title game appearance since 1998.
Southern led 22-15 with 2:59 remaining in the first half, but DeMuynck made two big baskets in the last 2:11 to cut trim the Southern lead to 22-19 at the break. DeMuynck tied the score with a 3-pointer early in the second half. The Jaguars reclaimed the lead moments later, but the game remained close until Southern mounted a 7-0 run to open a 48-35 lead with 1:41 to play.
Prairie View A&M's Jules Montgomery, Carl Blair and Montrael Scott produced three baskets in 33 seconds to cut Southern's lead to one in the final minute, but the Jaguars held on for the win.