MONROE — Tylor Ongwae scored a season-high 26 points, including a pair of huge 3-pointers late as the University of Louisiana at Monroe men’s basketball team beat Eastern Michigan 71-67 in the College Basketball Invitational on Wednesday night at Fant-Ewing Coliseum.
ULM (22-12) led 54-38 when the Eagles (21-14) stormed back with a 19-0 run to take the lead 57-54 with 7:51 to go.
Eastern Michigan was still up 63-60 at the 3:45 mark when junior Jamaal Samuel converted a put-back and Ongwae came through with his back-to-back 3-pointers to put ULM on top 68-65 with 52 seconds left.
Junior Justin Roberson hit a pair of free throws to extend the lead to 70-65 and complete a 10-0 run with 35 seconds left.
Ongwae also had six assists and five rebounds. Samuel scored 15 points and had eight rebounds, and Majok Deng had 15 points and eight rebounds for the Warhawks.
Raven Lee led Eastern Michigan with 17 points. Tim Bond added 13 points and six assists, and Trent Perry scored 10 points.
ULM will travel to Mercer for a CBI quarterfinal game Monday. The time has not been announced.
UT-Martin at Northwestern State: In Natchitoches, the Northwestern State men’s basketball team has a chance to notch a 20-win season for the 12th time when the Demons host the University of Tennessee at Martin in the CollegeInsider.com tournament at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in Prather Coliseum.
“It is a great opportunity to bring in a quality nonconference opponent. It’s a chance to get to No. 20, and it’s a chance to make a step toward winning a national tournament,” Demons coach Mike McConathy said.
“It’s not the ultimate goal, the NCAA tournament, but it’s very good midmajor teams around the country, and one will be a champion. We’d like to be that team.”
The matchup is the first national tournament game in Prather Coliseum since Northwestern State (19-12) joined NCAA Division I in 1976.
“There’s a lot of energy, McConathy said. “People are excited about the chance to continue playing basketball and our players are excited about the opportunity to play in front of the home crowd again.”
The Demons lead the country with an 84.1 scoring average, half provided by two of the country’s top point producers.
Zeek Woodley’s 22.6 scoring average is second nationally, and Jalan West is 19th at 19.6 per game.
West leads the country with a 7.7 assists average.
The Seahawks (18-12) have a balanced lineup topped by point guard Deville Smith, a UNLV transfer, who averages 13.8 points, 4.4 assists, 4.2 rebounds.
Shooting guard Alex Anderson has averaged 16.0 points over the past nine games.
GREAT FALLS 73, LOYOLA 54: In Inddependence, Mo., the Loyola University New Orleans women’s basketball couldn’t overcome a slow start offensively Wednesday morning, falling to the University of Great Falls Argonauts 73-54 in the first round of the NAIA Division I women’s basketball national championship.
The Wolf Pack made just seven field goals on 30 attempts in the first half, and the Argonauts (23-9) used a 13-5 run over four minutes to open up a 31-20 halftime lead.
Senior Janeicia Neely scored 20 of 26 points in the second half for the Wolf Pack (27-4). She also had 11 rebounds, and Adrianne Sloboh scored seven points and had six rebounds.
Erin Legel had 23 points, eight assists and seven rebounds for Great Falls. Abramson grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds and scored 22 points.
Darah Huertas-Vining had 12 points and four rebounds.
XAVIER VS. MID-AMERICAN CHRISTIAN: The Xavier University men’s basketball is back in the NAIA Division I men’s basketball national championships, aiming to make a mark at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Missouri, starting with Thursday’s matchup against Mid-America Christian.
The Gold Rush (24-9) is making its fifth consecutive appearance at nationals, and 15th in school history.
Forward Sydney Coleman, a transfer from Jackson State, is averaging 12.1 points and 5.2 rebounds is his second season at Loyola. Guard Morris Wright leads the team at 14.5 points.
Guard Semar Farris leads Mid-America Christian (23-10), averaging 17.5 points and 4.9 assists per game. The 5-foot-5 guard also leads the Evangels in steals (71) and 3-pointers (81).