Sam Houston State overwhelms New Orleans 80-61

HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) Michael Holyfield had 17 points and 17 rebounds as Sam Houston State never trailed in an 80-61 victory over New Orleans Saturday.

The Bearkats held a commanding 43-22 halftime lead and were ahead 63-44 with 8:54 remaining.

SHSU (21-9, 13-5 Southland Conference) finished in third place in the conference standings, which assures the Bearkats a first round bye in the tournament beginning March 12. The Bearkats, who finished one game behind Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, will open tournament play on Thursday.

Kaheem Ransom also had 17 points, Terrance Motley added 13 and Jabari Peters contributed 11 points and had a career-high 10 assists. The Bearkats won the rebound battle 45 to 33.

New Orleans (11-15, 8-10) was led by Cory Dixon with 19 points. Christavious Gill added 10. The Privateers closed the season on a four-game losing streak.