HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (AP) — Kahlil McDonald hit five 3-pointers and scored a career-high 19 points off the bench, and Western Kentucky made six late free throws to beat Florida International 67-63 on Saturday in the first round of the Sun Belt Conference tournament.
McDonald was 5 of 8 from behind the arc for the seventh-seeded Hilltoppers (12-18), who will face No. 2 seed Arkansas-Little Rock on Sunday. T.J. Price added 11 points and George Fant had 10.
The game was tied with 1:02 left before McDonald hit two free throws for a 63-61 edge. The teams then traded turnovers before Western Kentucky’s Derrick Gordon blocked a 3-point attempt and FIU’s DeJuan Wright missed a layup. Gordon and Price each hit two foul shots to seal the victory.
Wright had 24 points and 12 rebounds for the No. 10 seed Golden Panthers (8-21), who have gone 26-65 in three seasons under coach Isiah Thomas.