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New Orleans earns berth with 97-86 win over Northwestern St.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) Christavious Gill scored a season-high 38 points and New Orleans punched its own ticket into the Southland Conference tournament next week by beating Northwestern State, 97-86 in the regular season finale Saturday.

Winning the game, it turned out, was the only way the Privateers were going to make the tournament after Nicholls State beat Southeast Louisiana, 64-45. New Orleans finished 11th in conference, but Incarnate Word, Abilene Christian and Central Arkansas all are ineligible for the post season.

New Orleans held a 43-39 advantage at intermission and pulled away through the second half.

Gill, a junior who averages 13.9 points per game, was 11 of 20 from the field, including 8 of 12 from beyond the arc, and 8 of 11 from the free throw line.

Erik Thomas added 18 points and Kevin Hill contributed 15 for New Orleans (10-19, 6-12).

Zeek Woodley scored 25 points on 8 of 16 shooting, including 3 of 5 from distance, for Northwestern State (8-20, 5-13).

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