It took a career-high from KJ Johnson and nearly a triple-double by Damian Forrest. It took clutch plays from Daniel Ortiz, Will Soucie and Jacari Lane. Most of all, it took a bunch of gutsy efforts for UNA to pull out a critical 98-93 overtime ASUN victory at Eastern Kentucky.

The win, which came in front of a packed house on the EKU campus, keeps UNA in fifth place, but the Lions are now only a game out of third with two games to play. Eastern Kentucky and Stetson are tied for third place. UNA has won nine of its past 10 games after starting ASUN with a 1-5 record.

"It is an emotional time," said UNA head coach Tony Pujol in his postgame radio appearance. "The one thing I can tell you about this game that I'm most proud of is this was a championship-caliber game. It was a game they were put to the test, and they finished. I couldn't be prouder of them."

UNA actually led for much of the game, largely thanks to the relentless play of Johnson, who had 31 points, four 3-pointers and five rebounds. Forrest also came up big with 14 points, hitting all seven of his shots from the field, 10 rebounds, five blocked shots and a steal.

Ortiz had 20 points, four 3-pointers and six rebounds. Lane had 17 points, six rebounds and five assists, and Soucie had 10 points and four rebounds.

UNA built a 48-40 halftime lead and maintained the advantage for most of the second half. But, as should be expected for a team that carried a 12-game home winning streak into the game, it wasn't easy. The Colonels eventually forced overtime when Tayshawn Comer beat the regulation buzzer with a 3-pointer to tie the game at 80.

Eastern Kentucky scored a quick basket in the overtime, but UNA answered just as quickly with a 3-pointer by Lane. UNA never trailed again. Soucie hit back-to-back short jumpers before fouling out, Johnson had a key 3-pointers, and the Lions sealed the win at the free throw line.

UNA finishes the season with home games against Kennesaw State and Jacksonville State. Kennesaw State enters the final week in a first-place tie with Liberty.

South Alabama 81, Louisiana-Monroe 45: Nobody in the Sun Belt Conference is playing better basketball right now than South Alabama. The Jaguars (15-14 overall, 8-8 SBC) won by more than 30 points for the second consecutive game and captured their seventh victory in the past eight games. On Senior Day at the Mitchell Center, they also sent seven seniors out in style.

"I loved our guys' approach today," said South Alabama head coach Richie Riley. "Senior Day is really special to me. It always is. These guys put a lot of time in and work really hard, so we always want to send them out a winner. We were able to do that in a big way today. You couldn't have drawn it up much better."

The Jaguars actually began sluggish, falling down 10, but answered with a 38-7 run over the next 11 minutes.

"I got after our guys after that first media timeout and they really responded," Riley said. "We got great contributions from a lot of different guys. That run we were on in the first half was really special. [Greg Parham II] kind of spearheaded it. He got us going. Not only scoring the ball but his ability to find guys too. Jamar Franklin also came in and gave us some juice. We are starting to get production from a lot of different guys, and that's what makes us dangerous."  

Parham had 19 points and five assists to lead the way. Franklin and Judah Brown each had 12 points, with Brown hitting four 3-pointers.

Marshall 88, Troy 78: A slow start by Troy was ultimately too much to overcome. The Trojans (17-12 overall, 9-7 conference) trailed by as many as 15 points in the first 11 minutes, creating an uphill battle. Troy was able to get the deficit to eight points at halftime and trimmed the Marshall lead to four points with two minutes left. But the Thundering Herd (23-6 overall, 12-4 conference) answered down the stretch.

Nelson Phillips had 22 points for Troy, but he only made 2 of 10 3-pointers. Darius McNeill had 18 points and four assists.  

Alabama A&M 90, Bethune-Cookman 56: Twelve different players scored the Bulldogs (12-15 overall, 8-6 conference) in the lopsided win. Cameron Tucker led the way with 14 points and four assists, and the Bulldogs hit 58 percent from the field. Bethune-Cookman fell to 9-18 overall and 5-9 in SWAC play.

Alabama State 60, Florida A&M 54: The Rattlers led by as many as 15 points in the second half. Alabama State rallied, cutting the deficit to as low as four points, but couldn't come all the way back. Duane Posey had 14 points and four rebounds in 20 minutes for the Hornets.

Liberty 79, Jacksonville State 55: The Gamecocks (11-18 overall, 4-12 conference) were no match for one of the top teams in the ASUN. Liberty (22-7 overall, 13-3 conference) built a 20-point lead at halftime and cruised to the win. Jax State shot 28 percent from the field and put nobody in double digits in scoring.

UAH 86, West Alabama 71: The Chargers (22-6 overall, 17-5 conference) secured a home game in the Gulf South Conference Tournament quarterfinals and moved into a first-place tie with West Alabama with two games left in the regular season. The Chargers did it by putting six players in double digits, shooting 53.4 percent from the field and making 14 of 34 3-pointers.

Luke Burnett led UAH with 22 points, five assists and two steals. He had five 3-pointers.

Union 73, West Alabama 56: Union (14-12 overall, 13-9 GSC) built a 13-point halftime lead and never looked back. West Alabama (21-5 overall, 17-5 GSC) fell into a first-place tie with UAH. Thaddeus Williams had 22 points for the Tigers, and Shardarrion Allen added 14 points. West Alabama was just 3 of 20 on 3-pointers.

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