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Bearkats punch ticket to NCAA Tournament
Courtesy: GoBearkats.com
Release: 03/14/2010
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Highlights from Southland Chmapionship win over SFA

KATY - It is has been seven years since the Bearkats were in the NCAA tournament. They punched their second trip to the Big Dance on Saturday.

The Kats stormed out to an early lead on Stephen F. Austin and never looked back in a 64-48 win over the Lumberjack to win the Southland Conference Tournament title and earn the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

"I am proud of our guys," SHSU head coach Bob Marlin said. "They came out and played with a lot of energy. We were able to get a lead and our defense picked it up in the first half and we continued that against a very good offensive team."

Ashton Mitchell, who was named tournament MVP, finished the game with 13 points and six assists. Gilberto Clavell led the way for the Kats with 21 points and was also named to the all-tournament team. Senior Corey Allmond scored 19.

"It was a relief to finally win it," Mitchell said. "It's what we have been working for all year and of course it's what I have been working at for four years. I'm just glad we finally got the job done."

The Kats scored eight of the first 10 points in the game and built the lead to double digits on a 3-pointer by Mitchell with 11:28 to play in the first half. After a layup by Denzell Barnes for SFA, Allmond answered right back with a 3 and the lead never got back to single digits again.

"I thought that was big they were never able to get the game to single digits," Marlin said. "We were able to get out to the early lead and never looked back."

The Kats will learn their NCAA Tournament destination at 5 p.m. on Sunday. The selection show will be televised by CBS. Clavell, who was surprised by his parents before the game who flew in from Puerto Rico, was nearly brought to tears after the game.

"It's been a dream come true," Clavell said. "If it wasn't for Corey and Ashton telling me on my recruiting visit Sam Houston needed a big man and they really needed me I might not be here. But I'm really glad to be here. It's the biggest win of my life."

For NCAA Tournament Information click here

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