Hot Springs, AR (Sports Network) - T.J. Prince scored a team-high 22 points as the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers slipped by the South Alabama Jaguars, 62-59, in the quarterfinals of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament at Summit Arena.
Also scoring in double figures for the sixth-seeded Hilltoppers (18-15) were George Fant and Jamal Crook with 18 and 10 points, respectively, the former also pulling down a game-high nine rebounds.
The third-seeded Jaguars (17-12) were led by Augustine Rubit who dropped in 22 points and cleared eight rebounds, but he shot just 4-of-18 from the floor on the night. Javier Carter pitched in with 11 points in the loss.
USA shot a dismal 6-of-25 from the floor in the first half, but thanks to a 13-of-15 showing at the free-throw line in the frame the team was able to stay within striking distance at the break, down by just three points at 29-26.
In the second half WKU connected on 52.4 percent from the field in order to keep up with the Jags and eventually take the narrow win.
With the victory the Hilltoppers, who were outscored at the free-throw line by a 23-11 margin, will now clash with Arkansas State in the semifinals on Sunday night.