On Monday, Mar. 11, Western Kentucky escaped Florida International 65-63 to claim the Sun Belt championship. With the win, the Hilltoppers tie the season series against Florida International at 1-1. George Fant got 17 points and 13 rebounds for the Hilltoppers, earning a double-double. Brandon Harris had 12 points and added six rebounds. Western Kentucky heads to the NCAA Tournament with a 20-15 record. During the regular season they finished sixth in the Sun Belt with a 10-10 conference record. Western Kentucky finished off Louisiana-Monroe (74-60), South Alabama (62-59), and Arkansas State (58-56) on the path to the Sun Belt championship game. Tymell Murphy registered a double-double for the Golden Panthers with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Florida International (18-14) finished the regular season fourth in the Sun Belt with an 11-9 record. In reaching the conference championship, they outplayed Arkansas-Little Rock (69-54) and Middle Tennessee State (61-57).
Western Kentucky Game Notes
- The win over Florida International extended the Western Kentucky winning streak to four games.
- The Hilltoppers have won six close games this season (a win by five or fewer points). Since 2007, Western Kentucky is 40-30 in close games.
- Western Kentucky has won 91 percent of the time this season (10-1) when its field goal percentage has been 46.9 percent or better.
- WKU has won 92 percent of the time this season (11-1) after holding an opponent to under 38.7 percent field goal percentage.
- WKU has won 86 percent of the time this season (12-2) when opponents record 63 or fewer total points.
- This season Western Kentucky has won 71 percent of the time (5-2) when Jamal Crook has 17 points or more.
- The Hilltoppers have outshot their opponents in three-point percentage for the past four games.
- The top two scorers (George Fant and Jamal Crook) accounted for 52.3 percent of the points.
- George Fant accounted for 38.2 percent of the team's rebounds.
- George Fant has led the team in scoring seven times and in rebounding 15 times in 35 games this season.
- George Fant recorded the seventh double-digit rebound game of his career.
- George Fant recorded a double-double. It was his fourth this season and sixth of his career.
- George Fant had career highs with 10 defensive rebounds and four blocks.
Florida International Game Notes
- The Golden Panthers have lost four times this season in games decided by five or fewer points. Since 2007, Florida International is 30-37 in close games.
- The top two scorers (Cameron Bell and Malik Smith) accounted for 46.0 percent of the points.
- The top two rebounders (Tymell Murphy and Tola Akomolafe) accounted for 48.5 percent of the rebounds.
- Cameron Bell has led the team in scoring three times in 32 games this season.
- Tymell Murphy has led the team in rebounding 14 times in 32 games this season.
- Malik Smith has five straight double-digit point games.
- Tymell Murphy recorded the eighth double-digit rebound game of his career.
- Tymell Murphy recorded a double-double. It was the eighth of his career.