<
>

W. Kentucky 84, North Texas 70

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) -- Courtney Lee scored 21 points and Western Kentucky advanced to the semifinals of the Sun Belt Conference tournament with an 84-70 win over defending champion North Texas Sunday night.

Tyrone Brazelton added 17 points for the Hilltoppers (25-6), who have won their tournament opener in 10 of the past 11 seasons. They will play Arkansas-Little Rock Monday night for a berth in the championship game.

North Texas (20-11) closed to within 42-41 early in the second half before Western Kentucky took control with a 14-4 run and eventually built its lead to 19 points.

Lee, the Sun Belt player of the year, made just 6-of-17 shots but got plenty of scoring help.

Orlando Mendez-Valdez finished with 14 points while A.J. Slaughter had 10. The Hilltoppers made 10-of-19 3-pointers.

Josh White's 15 points on 5-of-7 shooting led North Texas. Ben Bell added 12 points and Justin Howerton had 10.