Southland Conference Tournament 2013 results and bracket: McNeese State, Sam Houston State advance to Thursday's quarterfinals

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

McNeese State and Sam Houston State both won first-round games on Wednesday night to advance in the Southland Tournament. Each will take the court again in quarterfinal play on Thursday.

The Southland Conference opened their tournament on Wednesday night, with a pair of teams notching victories allowing them to advance to Thursday's quarterfinals.

In the opening game of the evening, No. 8 McNeese State shocked No. 5 Nicholls State, 62-59, thanks to a big night from guard Dontae Cannon. The senior scored a game-high 23 points, including the go-ahead bucket with 24 seconds left. Kevin Hardy added 11 points for McNeese State, which now advances to face the No. 4 Southeastern Louisiana Lions on Thursday afternoon.

In the second game of the double-header, No. 6 Sam Houston State cruised to a 69-63 victory over No. 5 Central Arkansas.

Like McNeese, Sam Houston State got big performances from two players, with guard Darius Gaston pouring in 19 points and forward James Thomas notching a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds. The Bearkats will next play No. 3 Oral Roberts in Thursday's second quarterfinal game.

To view the entire Southland Conference bracket, please click here.

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