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.