Xavian Rimmer scored a career-high 27 points, Louisiana-Lafayette rallied from a 9-point deficit in the last three minutes of regulation to force overtime and the Ragin' Cajuns beat Georgia State 82-81 in the Sun Belt Conference championship game Sunday.
The third-seeded Ragin' Cajuns (23-11) earned an automatic bid to their first NCAA tournament since 2005.
Ryan Harrow scored a career-high 37 points for Georgia State but missed an off-balance, driving bank shot in the final seconds. The top-seeded Panthers (25-7) had won 22 of their last 23 games.
After tying the score on a putback with 1.4 seconds left in regulation, Lafayette, which grabbed 20 offensive rebounds, took the lead for good, 80-77, with a 6-0 run in overtime that Elfrid Payton capped off with a layup off a Georgia State turnover.
Rimmer hit seven 3-pointers to keep UL-Lafayette within range until its final comeback.
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