NEW YORK — Thomas Walkup scored 33 points and 14th-seeded Stephen F. Austin faced down West Virginia’s full-court pressure with some of its own in-your-face defense, pulling off a rugged, 70-56 first-round upset of the third-seeded Mountaineers Friday night in the NCAA Tournament.
The Lumberjacks (28-5) ran the nation’s longest winning streak to 21 games and will face either six seed Notre Dame or No. 11 Michigan on Sunday at Barclays in the second round of the East Region.
The Mountaineers (26-9) and Lumberjacks played physical, chest-to-chest defense, contesting not just every shot, but every pass. Neither team shot better than 31 percent.
Walkup, the two-time Southland Conference player of the year, took it to the teeth of West Virginia’s defense and went to the line 20 times. He made 19, including two to make it 60-47 with 5:15 left in the second after West Virginia coach Bob Huggins’ griping to officials drew a technical on the Mountaineers.