Texas A&M-Corpus Christi is back in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2007 following a 74-65 victory over Southeastern Louisiana in the 2022 Southland Conference championship game.
Tournament MVP Terrion Murdix scored 13 points to go along with five steals while Jalen Jackson also registered 13. De'Lazarus Keys added 12 for the Islanders, who improve to 23-11.
Keon Clergeot led Southeastern Louisiana (19-14) with 18 points. Ryan Burkhardt added 14 while Joe Kasperzyk had 10. The Lions fell one win shy of their first NCAA bid since 2005.
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi shot 46.7 percent from the floor and hit ten three-pointers while also outrebounding Southeastern Louisiana 37-25.
Story of the game
Southeastern Louisiana came out of the gates hot, hitting six of its first seven shots including four from three-point range to build a 16-6 lead. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi responded with a 13-1, a three by San Antonio Brinson to tie it and a tip-in by sophomore Stephen Faramade to go in front 19-17.
The Islanders extended their lead when Murdix hit a jumper, Keys threw down a dunk and Jackson scored in transition to make it 33-26, forcing the Lions to call timeout with 4:02 remaining. The score was 35-30 at halftime.
The second seed came out hot again in the second and took a 40-39 lead with 17:01 left after a pair of threes. Brinson drained a long-range shot and followed it up with a jumper to put Texas A&M-Corpus Christi back in front 46-42 with 14:33 remaining.
A three by Myles Smith made it 58-51 with 7:54 to go. The Lions cut it to 61-58 after Burkhardt hit a three with 4:07 remaining, but the Islanders increased the lead again after a driving lay-up by Murdix and a pair of free throws by Isaac Mushila made it 65-58 with 2:30 left.
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi got their lead back up to double-figures 71-60 with under a minute to play after a fast-break lay-up by Murdix and two free throws by Jackson.