MONROE, La. (AP) Nick Coppola hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 2:17 to play and scored three more points in the final minutes as Louisiana-Monroe topped Texas State 56-53 on Saturday.
UL Monroe (20-11, 14-6) secured the No. 3 seed and a first round bye in the Sun Belt Conference tournament, and will play in the quarterfinals on Friday.
Coppola’s 3 gave the Warhawks a 51-49 lead. After both teams missed shots on back-to-back possessions and Texas State turned the ball over, Coppola was fouled and converted both at the line for a four point lead with 59 seconds remaining. He split a pair of free throws with two seconds left for the final margin, and finished with eight points.
Majok Deng scored 11 points and Justin Roberson added 10 for the Warhawks.
Kavin Gilder-Tilbury led Texas State (13-16, 7-13) with 16 points. The eighth-seeded Bobcats play fifth-seeded UT Arlington on Thursday.