- Associated Press - Saturday, January 21, 2017

CONWAY, Ark. (AP) - Erik Thomas and Nate Frye each finished with 16 points and New Orleans maintained its first-place conference position with an 81-63 win over Central Arkansas on Saturday.

New Orleans, which has won 7 of 8, sits atop the Southland Conference, one game ahead of Sam Houston State.

Travin Thibodeaux and Tevin Broyles each added 12 points for the Privateers (11-7, 6-1), with Thibodeaux grabbing 12 rebounds. New Orleans shot 55.4 percent from the field and won the battle on the glass 39-22.

Mathieu Kamba led Central Arkansas with 18 points on 9-of-13 shooting. But the Bears (4-16, 3-4) made just 14 additional field goals (23 overall) and shot only 41.1 percent.

New Orleans led by three, 49-46, with 12:40 to go but dominated the final seven minutes. A Thomas dunk gave the Privateers a 10-point lead, and a Thibodeaux layup with 2:37 left pushed the margin past 20, 79-58.

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