12th-seeded ULM pulls off Sun Belt Tournament upset

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Nick Coppola scored 14 of his 15 points in the second half and overtime and 12th-seeded Louisiana-Monroe upset No. 5 seed Arkansas State 73-70 on Wednesday in the first round of the Sun Belt Tournament.

Sam Alabakis added 14 points and Marvin Jean-Pierre 12 for the Warhawks (8-24), who will play No. 4 seed Texas State in a quarterfinal Friday.

Alabakis and Jean-Pierre opened overtime with baskets and Marcus Washington added six points in a 10-2 run to take control. Coppola made two free throws with six seconds left after the Red Wolves got within three.

Arkansas State had a chance to win in regulation but Rashad Lindsey missed a 3-pointer and Deven Simms a tip-in. Donte Thomas scored 22 points to lead the Red Wolves (20-12), who swept the regular-season series from ULM, which won only two conference games.

ULM scored the first nine points of the second half to tie it but the Red Wolves retook the lead and held it until Jean-Pierre hit a jumper with four minutes left for a one-point lead.

The Red Wolves missed 12 of 22 free throws.

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