Malik Smith went 3 of 4 from behind the arc and finished with 17 points for Florida international (14-12, 9-8).
On top 42-38 at halftime, Florida International started the second half on a 9-3 run, capped by Deric Hill's 3-pointer with 17:03 remaining to go ahead 51-41.
Western Kentucky (13-14, 7-9) trailed by as many as 15 points after intermission.
T.J. Price's 3-pointer with 23 seconds left cut the Hilltoppers' deficit to four, 84-80, but the Panthers made 3 of 4 free throws to seal the victory.
Florida International shot 52.2 percent (12 of 23) in the second half while Western Kentucky shot 43.3 percent (13 of 30).
Price led the Hilltoppers with game-highs of 22 points and six assists, but also had five turnovers.
Ted Kapita was the top-rated recruit from West Virginia in the class of 2015 and recently played at DME Academy in Florida.
With the Suns drafting Tyler Ulis, they now have five guards on their roster who attended Kentucky.
NBA fans will be looking forward to their newest players making plays like this next season.
|Texas San Antonio||3-15||13||5-27|