BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – George Fant scored 24 points as Western Kentucky pulled away in the second half to beat Florida International 76-63 in a Sun Belt Conference game Thursday night.
Kevin Kaspar didn't start for the Hilltoppers (9-5, 3-0) but logged 17 points in 37 minutes, including three second-half 3-pointers.
Western Kentucky led 69-58 after two free throws by Brandon Harris, who finished with 13 points, including all seven of his free throws in the final 2:12.
The Hilltoppers, who had lost three straight, led 17-6 in the first half but the Golden Panthers (4-6, 1-2) tied it 33-33 at halftime.
Malik Smith led FIU with 20 points. Jerome Frink added 15 and Tymell Murphy 14.
Both teams lost recently to No. 4 Louisville by nearly identical scores. FIU, coached by Richard Pitino, lost 79-55 to his father Rick's squad on Dec. 19. The Hilltoppers lost 78-55 to the Cardinals last Saturday.