State basketball roundup: ULL men drop Sun Belt opener

James Gallman scored 14 points, and Marcos Knight added 12 as Middle Tennessee defeated the Louisiana-Lafayette men’s basketball team 72-58 on Thursday night in the Sun Belt Conference opener for both teams.

The Blue Raiders (5-1) led by as many as 11 points in the first half, but the Ragin’ Cajuns (2-5) cut their deficit to 38-32 at halftime.

A jumper by Shawn Long, who finished with 17 points and 13 rebounds, gave ULL a 48-47 lead with 11:20 left, but Middle Tennessee used a 14-1 run to seize control. Bruce Massey’s only basket of the game started the run, which included five points by Gallman and three turnovers.

Steven Wronkoski had 13 points for ULL, and Bryant Mbamalu and Elfrid Payton scored 11 each.

SOUTHEAST MISSOURI 83, NEW ORLEANS 67: At Lakefront Arena, the University of New Orleans (2-3) dropped its second game in a row despite a career-high 15 points by Rarlensee Nelson.

Lovell Cook added 14 points for the hosts. SEMO (5-4) received double-doubles from Tyler Stone (23 points, 14 rebounds) and Nino Johnson (11 and 11).

State women

SOUTHEASTERN LA. 76, NEW ORLEANS 64: In New Orleans, Southeastern Louisiana seized momentum with a 21-4 run that began late in the first half en route to a victory at Lakefront Arena.

Four players reached double figures for SLU (4-2), led by Symone Miller with 14 points. Elizabeth Styles contributed 13, and Jameika Hoskins and Eric Hernandez had 12 and 11 points.

Mechel’le Thomas had 17 points to lead UNO (1-6). Keri Thomas and Amber Clay netted 14 apiece.

No. 12 Oklahoma 96, Northwestern State 35: In Norman, Okla., Aaryn Ellenberg scored 22 points and Oklahoma, playing without guard Maddie Manning, dominated Northwestern State.

Nicole Kornet, replacing Manning in the starting lineup, scored a career-high 19 points. Nicole Griffin had 12, and Morgan Hook added 10.

Tiandra Williams led Northwestern State with 10 points. Jasmine Bradley had six rebounds for the Demons (4-3), who shot 26 percent.