- Associated Press - Sunday, March 12, 2017

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - ArJae’ Saunders scored 13 points, Claresa Banks added 12 before each fouled out and Troy won back-to-back Sun Belt Conference Tournament championships after a 78-64 victory over Louisiana-Lafayette on Sunday night.

La’Tia Fils-Aime’ added 12 points for third-seeded Troy (22-10), which will make its third appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

“Again, ring to rings is very hard to get the second one behind the first one,” Troy coach Chanda Rigby said about the repeat. “The ‘s’ on the end means we had to do everything plural or more and they did that this year.

“Double dancing in Troy, Alabama,” she added as the Troy men’s basketball team will face No. 2 seed Duke in the NCAAs on Friday.

Troy was up by 10 points with 1:33 left in the first half but had its lead cut to 36-30. Louisiana’s Troi Swain scored 11 points in the half but the Ragin’ Cajuns struggled from the floor at 24.2 percent.

After two Troy offensive rebounds, Amanda Mendoza made a corner 3-pointer for a 62-55 lead with 6:43 left in the fourth. Swain pulled Louisiana to 70-64 on a 3-pointer with 1:31 to go but they didn’t score again.

Swain led No. 5 seed Louisiana (20-11) with 20 points on 8-of-15 shooting but the Ragin’ Cajuns shot just 30.6 percent. Louisiana knocked off top-seeded Little Rock on Saturday by eight points and was seeking its first Sun Belt tourney crown.

Troy became the first Sun Belt school to win back-to-back league titles since Little Rock did so in 2011 and 2012.

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