BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) -- Demetric Bennett scored 16 points and South Alabama hit six of eight free throws in the final minute to hold off Sun Belt Conference rival Western Kentucky 69-64 Thursday night.
Trailing 63-60 with 1:08 remaining in the game, Courtney Lee missed a jumper, and South Alabama hit six free throws in the final minute to seal the win.
The Jaguars (22-5, 14-2 Sun Belt East Division) and Hilltoppers (21-6, 13-2 SBC East) started out shooting a combined 5-for-20 in the first five minutes, but South Alabama was able to push a slim lead into double digits to 41-30 at halftime.
In the second half, the Hilltoppers pushed back, taking brief one-point leads twice with under four minutes left in the game.
Lee led Western Kentucky with a game-high 18 points.
"You all that were here saw one heck of a game," South Alabama coach Ronnie Arrow said. "I think that both programs should be proud of the execution out there ... I?ve been asked I don't know how many times, 'Should this conference get two bids in the (NCAA) tournament?" I think you all saw what my answer is."
Brandon Davis added a double-double for the Jaguars, scoring 11 points and pulling down 11 rebounds.
Both of Western Kentucky's conference losses have been to the Jaguars.