Austin Kenon scored 29 points and Virginia Military Institute rallied to defeat Winthrop 89-85 Saturday night, earning the fourth seed in the Big South Conference tournament and the right to host a first-round game.
The Keydets (17-12, 10-8) trailed 85-84 with 1:35 to play, then Rodney Glasgow and Kenon hit jumpers and Michael Sparks made a free throw with 14 seconds left.
The Eagles (13-16, 9-9) missed four 3-pointers in the final minute, three in the last 16 seconds.
VMI, which won for the fifth time in six games, trailed 40-27 with 5:55 left in the first half, closing to 49-46 at the break.
While the Keydets, the nation's scoring leaders, hit their average of 88.5 points per game, the Eagles far exceeded their 64.8 average. They scored higher this season only in the 88-82 overtime win at VMI on Dec. 2.
Andre Jones led Winthrop with 19 points and 10 rebounds.