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College basketball: Valparaiso, Robert Morris earn NCAA berths

College basketball: Valparaiso, Robert Morris earn NCAA berths
Member of the Valparaiso basketball team celebrate after beating Green Bay, 54-44, in the Horizon League tournament to earn an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. (Joe Raymond, AP)

After trailing at the half, Valparaiso dominated the second 20 minutes and defeated Green Bay, 54-44, on Tuesday night at Valparaiso, Ind., to win the Horizon League tournament championship and an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

Valparaiso (28-5), the conference's regular-season champion, won its second conference tournament title in the past three years.

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Green Bay's Keifer Sykes, the two-time Horizon League player of the year, came into the game averaging 29 points in the last three games for the Phoenix (24-8), but he was held to 14 points on five-of-15 shooting.

Northeast

Rodney Pryor scored 17 points and Robert Morris denied St. Francis of Brooklyn its first NCAA tournament bid, beating the Terriers, 66-63, in the Northeast Conference tournament championship at New York. Second-seeded Robert Morris (19-15) is going back to the tournament for the first time since 2010.

The top-seeded Terriers (23-11) had a chance to tie with 2.4 seconds left when Tyreek Jewell, who scored 19 points, went to the line after being fouled shooting a desperation three-pointer. He missed all three free throws, and Lowell Ulmer's last-second heave from beyond half-court hit the back of the rim.

Women

Megan Podkowa scored 19 points and DePaul (26-7) defeated No. 24 Seton Hall, 78-68, for its second consecutive Big East tournament title and automatic NCAA bid. Chanise Jenkins added 16 points and Centrese McGee had a season-high 14 points for the second-seeded Blue Demons, who lost twice to the Pirates during the regular season. ... South Dakota State built a big lead in the first half and cruised to its sixth Summit League title in seven years, beating South Dakota State 72-57. Macy Miller scored 19 points and Ellie Thompson had 18 for the Jackrabbits ... Alex Wheatley scored 17 points and No. 13 Princeton capped off an undefeated regular season with a 55-42 victory over Penn. The Tigers (30-0, 14-0 Ivy League) became the 15th team to enter the NCAA tournament unbeaten.

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