Florida Atlantic men, Middle Tennessee State women win in C-USA tournaments

Top-seeded teams in both Conference USA basketball tournaments emerged Saturday as postseason champions, with both the Florida Atlantic University men and the Middle Tennessee State women claiming automatic bids into their respective NCAA tournaments. The C-USA’s tournaments were held at The Star in Frisco.

All UTSA sports teams will transition from the C-USA into the American Athletic Conference next season.

Men’s title game

The FAU Owls bolted to a 19-point halftime lead and cruised to the C-USA postseason title on Saturday night. Alijah Martin led the Owls with 30 points, 11 rebounds and three steals. UTSA entered the tournament as the No. 11 seed and lost in the first round last Wednesday against No. 6 Rice, 72-71. A potential game-winning shot by Japhet Medor was initially counted and then waved off because it was released after the buzzer.

Women’s title game

Top-ranked Middle Tennessee State defeated No. 2 Western Kentucky, 82-70, on Saturday for the C-USA postseason championship. Jalynn Gregory made 5 of 5 3-pointers and scored 24 points for the Lady Raiders. Sixth-seeded UTSA went 2-1 in the tournament. Karen Aston’s Roadrunners beat No. 11 Florida Atlantic 69-68 in the first round and No. 3 Rice 62-54 in the quarterfinals before bowing out of the semifinals Friday night, falling 70-55 to the Lady Toppers.