Tristan Thompson key as UNT reaches Sun Belt final

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. -- Tristan Thompson scored 28 points to lead North Texas to an 81-62 win over Western Kentucky in the Sun Belt tournament semifinals Monday night.

The Mean Green (22-10) will play Arkansas-Little Rock in Tuesday night's championship game and are one win away from a return trip to the NCAA tournament. North Texas won the conference tournament last year before losing to Kansas State in the NCAAs.

Juan Pattillo led the Hilltoppers (16-16) with 20 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks.

Thompson hit his first four 3-point attempts for North Texas, which hit 10-of-12 shots to open the game. The Mean Green shot 53.4 percent (31 of 58), and Josh White added 18 points and George Odufuwa 16.

Western Kentucky led 39-38 late in the first half, but North Texas went on a 12-2 run to go up 50-41 and take control.