MONROE, La. (AP) -- Louisiana-Monroe's Tony Hooper finished with a game-high 29 points, grabbed eight rebounds and had five assists as the Warhawks clinched at least a share of the Sun Belt Conference West Division championship by downing Denver 87-51 on Thursday night.
Louisiana-Monroe (17-12, 11-6) capped an undefeated home season and was the only league squad to do so.Denver (4-24, 3-15) kept the game close in the first half, grabbing a two-point lead as late as the 4:51 mark.Lance Brasher knocked in a lay-up to tie the score at 25-25 with 4:24 remaining. The Warhawks closed the half on an 8-2 run, allowing only one Denver field goal in the last four minutes and taking a 33-27 advantage into the locker rooms.Louisiana-Monroe came out firing in the second half, putting the game out of reach with a 25-4 run over a six minute stretch to start the period. Jonas Brown keyed the run by scoring nine of his 20 points to give ULM the 25-point lead.Louisiana-Monroe outscored the Pioneers by 30 points in the second half to cruise to its largest margin of victory in a conference game.Brown and Payne also finished in double figures, scoring 20 and 11 points respectively.Alex Cox led Denver in scoring with 11, while Antonio Porch had 10.