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.
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.
Forward Kennedy Meeks, who has averaged 9.4 points and 6.5 rebounds at North Carolina, has pulled out of the NBA draft and will return to the Tar Heels.
Cal big man Ivan Rabb could have been selected in the top 10 of the NBA draft. Instead, he's returning to Berkeley to make himself, and the Golden Bears, stronger.
Devin Williams' decision last month to sign with an agent and enter the NBA draft has left West Virginia in a tough spot.
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