BOCA RATON, Fla. — Greg Gantt scored 23 points, and Florida Atlantic held off Louisiana-Lafayette’s second-half comeback to claim a 75-70 victory Thursday night.

Stefan Moody had 16 points and nine rebounds for the Owls (6-6, 3-2 Sun Belt), and Pablo Bertone scored 12.

Elfrid Payton led the Ragin’ Cajuns (6-10, 2-3) with 23 points, Shawn Long had 22 and Bryant Mbamalu scored 17.

The Owls led 39-27 at halftime and 65-56 with 7:31 to go on Moody’s two free throws, but ULL began closing. The Ragin’ Cajuns cut it to 69-65 with 3:11 remaining on Bryant’s pair of free throws but could draw no closer.

NICHOLLS STATE 83, CENTRAL ARKANSAS 79: In Thibodaux, Fred Hunter had 19 points, and T.J. Carpenter added 17 as Nicholls State won its Southland Conference opener.

Jeremy Smith had 16 points, and Shane Rillieux chipped in 15 for Nicholls (2-9, 1-0). Robert Crawford had 21 for Central Arkansas (5-6, 0-1).

Oral Roberts 86, Southeastern Louisiana 72: In Hammond, Damen Bell-Holter surpassed the 1,000-point plateau with 35 points as Oral Roberts (6-7) won its first Southland game.

Roosevelt Johnson led the Lions (2-9) with 18 points.

Northwestern State 78, McNeese State 63: In Natchitoches, Brison White scored a season-high 20 points to lead Northwestern State (7-4, 1-0) in its Southland opener.

Dontae Cannon had 15 points for McNeese State (6-5, 0-1).

SOUTH ALABAMA 77, UL-Monroe 72: In Monroe, South Alabama (7-6, 4-1 Sun Belt) shot 59.1 percent to hold off ULM.

Amos Olatayo had 18 points off the bench to lead the Warhawks (2-8, 1-3).

Mississippi State 97, New Orleans 47: In Starkville, Miss., Colin Borchert had 17 points and eight rebounds to lead Mississippi State (5-7).

Kevin Hill and Lovell Cook scored seven points each to lead UNO (3-9).


ORAL ROBERTS 81, SOUTHEASTERN LOUISIANA 62: In Hammond, Oral Roberts had a 15-2 run late in the first half to pull away in both teams’ Southland opener.

Oral Roberts (4-7, 1-0) shot 54.7 percent (29 for 53) in its first game as a league member. Southeastern (7-5, 0-1) got 12 points apiece from Aja Gibson and Jameika Hoskins.

CENTRAL ARKANSAS 72, NICHOLLS STATE 56: In Thibodaux, Megan Herbert had 33 points and 11 rebounds to lead Central Arkansas (8-4, 1-0) in its Southland opener. Alisha Allen had 21 points for Nicholls (8-4, 0-1).