LAKE CHARLES, Louisiana — Ty Charles scored seven of his 13 points in the final 90 seconds as Stephen F. Austin fought off a determined McNeese State to open defense of its Southland Conference crown with an 80-75 win on Saturday.
SFA (11-3, 1-0) has won two straight conference titles and 23 consecutive conference victories over two years.
The Lumberjacks were up 50-39 with 15:30 left. McNeese State charged back and took its first lead 60-59 when Shaun Johnson nailed two straight 3-pointers and Keelan Garrett split a pair of free throws with 7:58 remaining. SFA's Trey Pinkney nailed a trey to retake the lead.
Johnson hit a 3 with 1:03 left to tie at 73. Charles answered with a 3-pointer and SFA held on for the win.
Garrett had 26 points for McNeese State (6-6, 0-1).