Shawn Long had 19 points, 17 rebounds and five blocks Friday night, and third-seeded Louisiana-Lafayette advanced past No. 6 seed UT Arlington 91-85 into the Sun Belt semifinals at New Orleans Lakefront Arena.
The game ended at 12:08 a.m. Saturday, starting late after a Sun Belt record four-overtime, in which Arkansas State beat Arkansas-Little Rock 116-114. Tipoff for the second game was delayed about 1 hour, 20 minutes.
UTA (15-17) used a 7-0 run to close within 70-65, but Louisiana answered with a 12-4 run and held on from there. Reger Dowell scored 25 and Brandon Edwards had 22 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks.
UTA was 11 of 22 from 3-point range.
Dowell and Edwards joined fellow seniors Shaquille White-Miller and Kyle McElvain in playing their final games at UTA. White-Miller had six assists.
Junior guard Jamel Outler paced the Mavericks with a career-high 26 points.
The Ragin’ Cajuns (21-11) will face Western Kentucky (20-11), which advanced to the semifinals with a double-bye as the No. 2 seed.
In three games against the Mavericks this season, Long averaged 24 points, 11.3 rebounds and four blocks. Louisiana complemented Long’s interior dominance with a 12-for-21 shooting performance from 3-point range.
Xavian Rimmer was 5 of 6 from the arc and finished with 24 points. Bryant Mbamalu added 20 points and eight rebounds for the Cajuns.
Louisiana forged an early 25-13 lead, but an 18-8 run behind Outler cut the lead to 40-39. The Ragin’ Cajuns hit two 3-pointers en route to a 46-41 halftime lead.
ULL built a 65-51 lead, but back came the Mavericks with a 7-0 run. The Cajuns pushed the margin back to 70-58.
UTA didn’t go quietly, even down by seven in the final minute. Dowell’s two free throws with 29 seconds cut the deficit to 85-80 and his 3-pointer at 0:15 made it a four-point game.
The Mavericks, however, got no closer in ending their inaugural season in the Sun Belt.
Arkansas State 116, Arkansas-Little Rock 114 (4OT)
Melvin Johnson III scored 19 points and converted a three-point play with 6 seconds left in quadruple overtime to help No. 4 seed Arkansas State outlast fifth-seeded Arkansas-Little Rock 116-114 in a Sun Belt tournament quarterfinal Friday.
The Red Wolves (19-12) will face top-seeded Georgia State in the semifinals Saturday. Ed Townsel scored 32 for Arkansas State, Kirk Van Slyke added 24 and Brandon Reed 23.
Leroy Isler led UALR (15-17) with 25 points.
UALR led by six late in regulation, but Arkansas State rallied to take the lead on Johnson’s layup with 8 seconds left. White split a pair of free throws to force overtime.