Deonte Johnson sank two free throws with four seconds left to lift the Benedict men to a 63-61 victory over Lane College in the championship game of the SIAC Tournament.
The Tigers (19-11) advance to the NCAA Division II Tournament as the SIAC’s automatic qualifier. The Tigers will learn their opponent during Sunday night’s national selection show.
Andrew Crawford led the Tigers with 19 points, hitting six 3-pointers. Brennan Reynard, who was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, had eight points and a game-high nine assists. Jordan Smith also was also named to the All-Tournament Team.
Fred Watson was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Coach after winning his fifth conference championship as coach of the Tigers.
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In the SIAC women’s title game, Albany State forced Benedict into 27 turnovers and scored 23 points off turnovers to win 74-64. Kristine Lesane had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds, while Kari Jones scored a team-high 14 points.
WOFFORD 73, WESTERN CAROLINA 61 At Asheville, N.C., Spencer Collins scored 17 points, 10 at the free throw line, and top-seeded Wofford beat the No. 4 seed Catamounts to advance to the Southern Conference championship game.
The defending champion Terriers on Monday will face No. 10 seed Furman, which upset third-seeded Mercer in the other semifinal, 52-49.
Lee Skinner had 14 points and Karl Cochran 11 for Wofford (27-6), which has a single-season school record for wins. The Terriers made 24 of 32 free throws.
NORTH FLORIDA 63, USC UPSTATE 57 At Jacksonville, Fla., the Ospreys (23-11) snapped a five-game losing streak against the Spartans (23-11) and won the Atlantic Sun Conference final to earn its first NCAA Tournament berth.