MONROE, Louisiana — Nick Coppola hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 2:17 to play and scored three more points in the final minutes as Louisiana-Monroe topped Texas State 56-53 on Saturday.
UL Monroe (20-11, 14-6) secured the No. 3 seed and a first round bye in the Sun Belt Conference tournament, and will play in the quarterfinals on Friday.
Coppola's 3 gave the Warhawks a 51-49 lead. After both teams missed shots on back-to-back possessions and Texas State turned the ball over, Coppola was fouled and converted both at the line for a four point lead with 59 seconds remaining. He split a pair of free throws with two seconds left for the final margin, and finished with eight points.
Kavin Gilder-Tilbury led Texas State (13-16, 7-13) with 16 points. The eighth-seeded Bobcats play fifth-seeded UT Arlington on Thursday.
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