Fiu 27 36 63
Wkentucky 33 34 67
Date of game: 3/3/2012

Recap: Western Ky vs. FIU

Hot Springs, AR (Sports Network) - Kahlil McDonald came off the bench to score a team-best 19 points as Western Kentucky held on to defeat FIU, 67-63, in the first round of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament at Summit Arena.

Also scoring in double figures for the seventh-seeded Hilltoppers (12-18) were T.J. Price and George Fant with 11 and 10 points, respectively. Derrick Gordon came up a point shy of a double-double as he cleared a team-best 10 rebounds.

The 10th-seeded Golden Panthers (8-21) were led by DeJuan Wright who recorded a double-double with 24 points and 12 rebounds, while Cameron Bell tacked on 11 points.

Both teams had trouble shooting the ball from the floor in the first half, WKU hitting on only 37.5 percent and the Golden Panthers at 33.3 percent. However, of their 12 made baskets in the period, the Hilltoppers knocked down half of them from three-point range in order to take a 33-27 lead at the break.

In the second half FIU battled back and took a five-point lead with just under eight minutes remaining, but Western Kentucky also had some fight left and ended up capturing the four-point win.

In a game that saw 10 ties and seven lead changes, the Hilltoppers outscored FIU on the perimeter by a 30-15 margin.

With the win the Hilltoppers move on to the quarterfinals on Sunday night and will challenge second-seeded Arkansas-Little Rock in this same building.

Game Notes

Ray McDonald arrested, cut by Bears

Troubled defensive lineman Ray McDonald was released by the Chicago Bears Monday after being arrested on charges of domestic violence and child endangerment.

Rays place Loney on DL with fractured finger

The Tampa Bay Rays have placed first baseman James Loney on the 15-day disabled list with a fractured middle finger on his left hand, the team announced Monday.

Cavs' Irving out for Game 3

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving will miss Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals against Atlanta due to a lingering left knee injury.

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