Sikes sinks game-winning FT as South Alabama advances

UL-Lafayette

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Rodrick Sikes made one of two free throws with four seconds remaining and eighth-seeded South Alabama held on to upend No. 5 seed Louisiana Lafayette 70-69 in the second round of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament on Thursday.

Josh Ajayi led South Alabama with 25 points and the Jaguars advance to face fourth-seeded Texas State in Friday’s quarterfinals.

Sikes finished with 15 points for South Alabama (17-16). Trhae Mitchell added nine points, seven rebounds and six assists.

The Jaguars scored 24 points off 14 Louisiana turnovers

Jakeenan Gant had 26 points and 12 rebounds for the Ragin’ Cajuns (19-13). Jerekius Davis added 17 points and eight rebounds. Cedric Russell had 10 points and five steals.

A layup by Gant knotted the game at 69-69 with 1:43 to play and neither team scored another basket. Ajayi grabbed the rebound of a 3-point miss by Louisiana’s Russell and Sikes was fouled with four ticks on the clock, making one.

Neither team led by more than six points in a game with seven ties and 10 lead changes.