On Monday, Mar. 11, Florida International took on Western Kentucky and was narrowly defeated by the Hilltoppers 65-63 in the Sun Belt championship game. The Golden Panthers tied the season series against Western Kentucky at 1-1 with the loss. Florida International (18-14) finished the regular season fourth in the Sun Belt with an 11-9 record. The route for Florida International to the Sun Belt championship game went through Arkansas-Little Rock (69-54) and Middle Tennessee State (61-57). Tymell Murphy earned a double-double in the loss with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Jerome Frink scored 13 points and added five rebounds. George Fant recorded a double-double for the Hilltoppers on 17 points and 13 rebounds. Western Kentucky (20-15) finished the regular season sixth in the Sun Belt with a 10-10 record. In reaching the conference championship, they overcame Louisiana-Monroe (74-60), South Alabama (62-59), and Arkansas State (58-56).
Florida International Game Notes
- FIU beat the spread by 0.5 points. That makes the 15th time this season the Golden Panthers have beaten the spread.
- The Golden Panthers have been unlucky four times this season in games decided by five or fewer points. Since 2007, Florida International is 30-37 in close games.
- FIU set a season low for steals (two).
- The Golden Panthers have recorded more three-pointers than their opponents for the past four 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 in three out of 32 games this season.
- Tymell Murphy has led the team in rebounding in 14 out of 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.
Western Kentucky Game Notes
- The Hilltoppers won this one, but have lost five times this season in games decided by five or fewer points. Since 2007, Western Kentucky is 40-30 in close 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 set career highs with 10 defensive rebounds and four blocks.