McKnight, Harper lift Arkansas-Pine Bluff to SWAC title game

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HOUSTON (AP) — Martaveous McKnight and Travon Harper combined for 51 points and top-seeded Arkansas-Pine Bluff shot 55 percent and defeated No. 4 seed Southern 71-65 in a Southwest Athletic Conference semifinal on Friday.

Arkansas-Pine Bluff (14-20) will face either Prairie View A&M, the No. 2 seed, or third-seeded Texas Southern in Saturday's championship.

McKnight scored five points in a 7-1 surge as the Golden Lions opened a 59-57 lead and sealed off Southern by making 5 of 6 at the free-throw line.

McKnight, the SWAC Player of the Year, hit 10 of 15 shots from the floor, 7 of 9 at the line, and scored 28 points with eight rebounds. Harper scored 23 points on 8-of-13 shooting and was also 7 of 9 at the free-throw line. The duo took 28 of the Golden Lions 44 shots and had 18 of the team's 24 baskets.

Eddie Reese led Southern (15-18) with 17 points, Jared Sam added 13 and Emanual Shepherd 11. The Jaguars were 20 of 50 from the floor (40 percent).

Neither team shot much from distance, Southern going 3 of 14 from 3-point range, while Arkansas-Pine Bluff made 1 of 7.

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