FRISCO, Texas (AP) — Jordan “Jelly” Walker made 11 of 11 from the free-throw line and finished with 27 points to help UAB beat Louisiana Tech 82-73 on Saturday night in the championship game of the Conference USA tournament to clinch a berth in the NCAA Tournament.
Walker made 6 of 11 from the field and 4 of 7 from 3-point range. Michael Ertel scored 15 points, including three 3-pointers for UAB (27-7). KJ Buffen added 13 points and Tavin Lovan 11.
The Blazers used runs of 14-3 and 14-0 in the first half to take a 19-point lead with 2 minutes left before halftime. Louisiana Tech (24-10) scored the next 11 points to trim its deficit to 43-35 when Kenneth Lofton Jr. scored early in the second half. Lofton scored in the paint and then converted a three-point play with 2:07 remaining to pull the Bulldogs within three points, but Walker answered with two foul shots and they got no closer.
Lofton led Louisiana Tech with 23 points on 11-of-18 shooting and nine rebounds. He scored 17 points in the second half.
Cobe Williams added 19 points and Amorie Archibald 12 for the Bulldogs.
UAB, which set the program's single-season record for wins, beat Middle Tennessee 102-98 in triple overtime in the semifinals. Walker, who was named the tournament MVP, scored 40 points — and went 13 of 13 from the free-throw line — against the Raiders.
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