SAN ANTONIO — Makur Puou scored 18 points on 8-for-9 shooting and helped spark a late run and New Orleans pulled away from Incarnate Word in the final minutes for a 68-58 win on Saturday, remaining poised to claim a share of the lead in the Southland Conference.

New Orleans (11-10, 8-2) entered Saturday a half-game behind Nicholls State (13-8, 7-1) which was playing third place Southeast Louisiana later Saturday.

Shawn Johnson scored a 3-pointer and Incarnate Word, which had grabbed a 45-44 lead with 8:28 remaining, cut the gap to five points, 56-51 with 3:14 to go. But Puou and Troy Green scored and Travin Thibodeaux beat the defense on a fast break for a wide-open dunk that capped a 7-0 run for the Privateers, bumping the lead to 63-52 by the 1:41 mark. Green and Michael Zeno closed out the game at the line.

Thibodeaux finished with 14 points for New Orleans. Cody Graham scored 11 and Burmeister 10 for Incarnate Word. Johnson finished with nine.