Western Kentucky made it six straight Sun Belt Conference championships yesterday, taking control in the second half to flummox Middle Tennessee, 67-57. Hilltoppers forward Jeremy Evans shot 8-of-9 for 20 points and pulled down 14 rebounds in the win, enough to clinch the conference MVP trophy. His double-double was the first by a Hilltopper all season.
The Hilltoppers started the second half with an 8-1 run and finished the game by hitting 12 straight free throws. The Blue Raiders led by as many as 7 in the first stanza, but a buzzer-beating three-pointer gave Western Kentucky a 34-31 halftime advantage. The title gives them an automatic bid in the NCAA tournament.