Arkansas Little Rock forward Lis Shoshi (12) loses control of the ball after a block from Louisiana Monroe forward DeMondre Harvey, right, and forward Jamaal Samuel, center, in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the championship of the Sun Belt Conference men's tournament in New Orleans, Sunday, March 13, 2016. (AP Photo/Max Becherer)
NEW ORLEANS (AP) Roger Woods scored 19 points and Arkansas-Little Rock punched its ticket to the NCAA Tournament with a dominant second half, beating Louisiana-Monroe 70-50 on Sunday in the Sun Belt Tournament final.
Trailing 33-28 at halftime, the Trojans raised their defensive intensity several notches and went on an 18-4 run to take control. Woods gave Arkansas-Little Rock the lead for good at 37-35, faking an outside shot and driving for an emphatic dunk with 15:01 left.
Marcus Johnson Jr. hit an open 3-pointer as the Trojans took their first double-digit lead, 53-42, at the 8:06 mark.
Woods, the tournament MVP, hit eight of 10 shots and added nine rebounds. Johnson scored 14 points for top-seeded Arkansas-Little Rock (29-4), which tied a Sun Belt conference record for wins in a season.
Justin Roberson had 17 points for second-seeded Louisiana-Monroe (20-13), which entered the final on a 10-game winning streak and having won 14 of its last 15 after a 6-11 start.