Va. Commonwealth 100, W. Kentucky 89
MOBILE, Ala. (AP) _ Freshman Kendrick Warren scored 25 points and Derek Thompkins 22 as Virginia Commonwealth defeated Western Kentucky 100-89 Saturday in the first round of the Sun Belt Conference tournament.
Fifth-seeded Virginia Commonwealth (14-16) shot 62 percent from the field and led throughout the game. But No. 4 seed Western Kentucky (14-14) twice fought back from 21-point deficits.
Western’s Joe Lightfoot hit a 3-pointer to cut VCU’s lead to 60-53 with about 16 minutes remaining. The Rams then went on a 20-6 run, led by Sherron Mills’ seven points, to make it 80-59. The Hilltoppers answered with runs of 12-0 and 8-2 to make it 88-81 with 4:22 remaining, but that was as close as they got.
Western Kentucky attempted 26 3-pointers - a conference record - but made only seven. VCU hitg 40 of 65 shots while putting up just eight 3-pointers.
Eric Atkins had 17 points for Virginia Commonwealth and Mills 13.
The Hilltoppers were led by Jennings with 21. Lightfoot added 18, Darnell Mee 17, Patrick Butts 12 and Byran Brown 10.
Virginia Commonwealth plays top-seeded South Alabama on Sunday in the semifinals.