State basketball: Tulane men escape deep hole

EL PASO, Texas — Freshman Jonathan Stark scored 21 points as Tulane rallied from a 13-point second-half deficit to beat North Texas 66-61 in the second round of the Conference USA men’s basketball tournament Wednesday.

Tulane trailed the entire way until Kevin Thomas’ free throw gave the Green Wave a 52-51 lead with 6:36 left. That capped a 15-3 run, highlighted by 3-pointers from Jay Hook, Tre Drye and two by Cameron Reynolds.

Hook finished with 11 points and eight rebounds for Tulane (17-15), which faces No. 2 seed Tulsa in the quarterfinals at 1 p.m. Thursday. Drye added nine points and 11 boards for the Green Wave. Tulane made 48.9 percent of its shots, including 9 of 17 3-pointers, and held a 36-25 rebounding advantage.

North Texas (16-16) was led by Brandan Walton with 16 points. He missed a game-tying 3-pointer with 3 seconds left.

Southland men

NICHOLLS STATE 71, SOUTHEASTERN LOUISIANA 64: In Katy, Texas, Dantrell Thomas scored 27 points and had six assists as fifth-seeded Nicholls State beat No. 8 seed Southeastern Louisiana in the first round of the Southland tournament.

Nicholls won its first conference tournament game since 2009 and will face No. 4 Northwestern State on Thursday.

Thomas made 7 of 12 field goals and 11 free throws for Nicholls State (14-14). T.J. Carpenter had 13 points and Liam Thomas grabbed 12 rebounds.

Dantrell Thomas scored six points during an 8-0 Nicholls State run to push a one-point lead to 60-51 with 3:44 left. Jeffery Ricard scored six straight to get the Lions within 62-58, but they could get no closer.

Dre Evans scored 15 points for SE Louisiana (12-18).

SWAC men

Texas Southern 79, Grambling State 54: In Houston, Aaric Murray scored 18 points as second-seeded Texas Southern (17-14) beat No. 10 Grambling (5-24) in the Southwestern Athletic Conference quarterfinals.

SWAC women

TEXAS SOUTHERN 82, GRAMBLING 74: In Houston, Brianna Sidney had 19 points as Texas Southern (19-11) knocked out Grambling (11-20) to reach the SWAC semifinals.