HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – T.J. Price scored 22 points and Jamal Crook hit the go-ahead basket with 17 seconds left as Western Kentucky knocked off South Alabama 62-59 Saturday night in the quarterfinals of the Sun Belt Conference tournament.
The sixth-seeded Hilltoppers (18-15) advance to the conference semifinals for the ninth straight year and will face second-seeded Arkansas State on Sunday.
Third-seeded South Alabama (17-12) led 59-58 when Barrington Stevens hit a jumper with 54 seconds remaining. Crook's shot put Western Kentucky back in front and on the ensuing possession Brandon Harris stole the ball from the Jaguars' Augustine Rubit. That forced South Alabama to foul, and Price hit two free throws with 9 seconds left for a three-point lead.
The Jaguars had a chance to tie, but 3-point attempts by Stevens and Rubit were off the mark.
George Fant added 18 points and nine rebounds for the Hilltoppers.
Rubit scored 22 for South Alabama.