Jalen Jackson scored 13 of his season-high 17 points in the second half, Owen Dease came off the bench to add a career-high 16 and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi defeated Northwestern State 75-71 to win its second straight Southland Conference Tournament championship on Wednesday.
The Islanders (23-10) defeated the second-seeded Demons for the third time this season to become the first No. 1 to take the tournament title since New Orleans in 2017.
Trevian Tennyson scored 10 of his 14 points in the second half and Isaac Mushila had 10 points and nine rebounds for Corpus Christi.
Conference player of the year DeMarcus Sharp scored 32 points on 15-of-31 shooting to lead Northwestern State (22-11). Ja’Monta Black added 15 points and Jalen Hampton had 13 points and 12 rebounds.
The Islanders rallied from an early 16-point deficit after losing senior point guard Terrion Murdix, the conference’s defensive player of the year who averages double figures, to a leg injury in the opening minutes.
The Islanders took the lead for good with eight minutes left on a Mushila 3-pointer and led by eight before a final push by the Demons, who got within a point on a layup Sharp after a pair of Islanders turnovers.
Tennyson hit a floater with 20.7 left even though the shot clock had reset after an Islanders miss. Black missed an off-balance 3-pointer and a Jackson free throw with 5.5 left wrapped up the win.
Sharp already had 14 points midway through the first half and the Demons led by 16. Dease scored 10 minutes in the final nine minutes of the first half to help the Islanders to a 31-all tie at the break.
Sharp only scored four points over the middle 20 minutes before leading Northwestern State’s near-miss rally.
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