Conference finals roundup: McNeese, Colgate seal NCAA bids


Shahada Wells poured in 27 points and dished out six assists to lead McNeese to a 92-76 win over Nicholls on Wednesday in the Southland Conference final at Lake Charles, La.

The Cowboys (30-3) are headed back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2002. The Colonels (20-14) were aiming for their first NCAA appearance since 1998.

Javohn Garcia scored 19 points and DJ Richards Jr. had 16 off the bench for McNeese, which shot 61.4 percent from the floor and hit 11 of 20 shots from 3-point range. Richards was 4-for-6 from long distance.

Diante Smith made five treys and scored 33 points to pace Nicholls. Robert Brown III added 13 points, and Jamal West Jr. had 11.

Colgate 74, Lehigh 55

The Raiders led for all but 25 seconds while cruising to a victory over the Mountain Hawks in the Patriot League final at Hamilton, N.Y.

Brady Cummins shot 8-for-9 from the floor and scored 19 points for Colgate (25-9), who are set to make their fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance. The Raiders have lost all six of their NCAA games, dating back to 1995.

Braeden Smith logged 15 points and 12 rebounds for the Raiders, and Jeff Woodward added 11 points. Nasir Whitlock paced Lehigh (14-18) with 17 points.