Katy, TX – Katy, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Another win against Sam Houston State has Stephen F. Austin in the Big Dance again.
Thomas Walkup had 24 points, eight rebounds and five assists as the Lumberjacks routed the Bearkats 83-70 to win the Southland Conference Tournament for a second straight year.
The Lumberjacks (29-4), who have reached the NCAA Tournament three times during school history, have beaten the Bearkats (25-8) 11 straight times.
Walkup, the Southland Player of the Year, was 9-of-14 from the floor. Jared Johnson netted 17 points off the bench and Dallas Cameron added 14 for Stephen F. Austin, which reached the third round of the NCAA Tournament last season as a No. 12 seed before falling to UCLA.
Michael Holyfield led Sam Houston State with 18 points and 12 boards.
After Kaheem Ransom staked Sam Houston State to a 25-24 edge at the 5:17 mark of the first half, the Lumberjacks netted 10 straight points to seize control. Walkup converted a layup and split a pair of foul shots to cap the surge and give SFA a 34-25 margin.
Jamal Williams hit two foul shots at the other end, but Tanner Clayton knocked down a shot from halfcourt at the buzzer for a 37-27 halftime advantage.
The Lumberjacks cruised to the finish line over the final 20 minutes, leading by as many as 16.
The Lumberjacks have won nine straight and 28-of-29 since a 1-3 start ... The Bearkats were just 3-of-20 from beyond the arc and shot 36.1 percent (22- of-61) from the floor ... Last year's conference player of the year Jacob Parker had 11 points and seven rebounds.