Ansley Almonor scored 23 points and Fairleigh Dickinson beat Texas Southern 84-61 on Wednesday night for their first NCAA Tournament victory in four seasons.
The Knights led 14-2 after going 12-0 in the first 3:29 and never relinquished the lead. Grant Singleton scored seven points during a 19-6 run, when the Knights led by as many as 18 points late in the first half.
Jordan Gilliam made a jumper that pulled Texas Southern within 10 points with 10:01 remaining in the second half. The Tigers shot 42% and went 1 for 17 from 3-point range.
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Fairleigh Dickinson shot 50% and advanced to the Eastern Region to play Friday against top-seeded Purdue in Columbus, Ohio.
Joe Munden Jr. scored 17 points, Demetre Roberts had 15, Singleton finished with 13 and Sean Moore added 10 for Fairleigh Dickinson (20-15).
John Walker III led Texas Southern (14-21) with 22 points. Joirdon Karl Nicholas added 10.
Fairleigh Dickinson: First-year coach Tobin Anderson turned around a Knights team that went 4-22 a season ago.
Texas Southern: The Tigers missed their first 13 3-pointers before making their first with 4:52 remaining. His 28.4% clip this season from 3-point distance was the lowest ranked in the Southwest Athletic Conference, and Texas Southern failed to win its third consecutive First Four appearance.
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Fairleigh Dickinson will play Purdue on Friday.