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2016 Southland Conference Tournament Final: Stephen F. Austin cruises back to NCAA Tournament

The Lumberjacks built a 19-point lead in the first half and never looked back.

Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

When you rolled through your conference season, this is how you are supposed to close out the conference tournament. Stephen F. Austin left no doubt about their NCAA Tournament spot as they crushed Texas A&M Corpus-Christi in the first half and cruised to victory.

Thomas Walkup led the way with 19 points as the Lumberjacks breezed by the Islanders 82-60.

The win put Stephen F. Austin in the NCAA Tournament for the third year in a row.

Walkup rounded out his day with six rebounds and four steals. Clide Geffrard added 18 points, eight rebounds and three steals, off the bench for the Lumberjacks. In total, Stephen F. Austin nabbed 12 steals and forced 20 turnovers from the Islanders.

Joe Kilgore had 14 points and Rashawn Thomas added 11 points and nine rebounds for the Islanders. The starters struggled from the floor, going 12-for-36, and the Islanders shot 3-for-17 from 3-point range, which really held them back.

Stephen F. Austin will enter the NCAA Tournament at 23-5, and riding a 20-game win streak that reaches back to the beginning of the year. The problem for the Lumberjacks is that the rest of their conference was not very good this season, and it dragged down their strength of schedule numbers.

They went 0-1 against the RPI top 50, a blowout loss by 40-plus to Baylor to begin the year, but are 3-3 against teams 51-100. The only issue there is that all three wins are against the Islanders. The Lumberjacks also hold one iffy loss, a one-point loss to Tulane early in the year.

The Bracket Matrix has Stephen F. Austin earning a 13-seed, and that seems a pretty good lock at this point, given all the upsets that have occurred.