- Associated Press - Friday, February 24, 2017

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Nate Frye and Erik Thomas scored 18 points each and New Orleans harried Stephen F. Austin 82-65 in a Southland Conference title showdown on Thursday night.

Stephen F. Austin, the four-time defending Southland champ, fell behind by 11 early on a Frye steal and layup, trailed by 20 at halftime and didn’t get close after that while New Orleans cemented its grip on first place in the Southland, ending Stephen F. Austin’s four-year run as conference champs.

New Orleans (17-9, 12-3) took advantage of 21 Lumberjacks turnovers and 28 fouls, including a technical to open the second half. The Privateers were 28-for-38 shooting at the free throw line and recorded 12 steals and four blocked shots. Frye had four steals and was 12 of 13 at the line.

Christavious Gill scored 13 points and made three steals, and Michael Zeno chipped in 12 points on 4 of 5 shooting.

Kevon Harris and TJ Holyfield each scored 13 for Stephen F. Austin (15-12, 10-5), which is tied with Texas A&M-Corpus; Christi.

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