HOT SPRINGS, Ark. -- T.J. Price scored 18 points Friday night and Western Kentucky never trailed in beating Louisiana-Monroe 74-60 in the first round of the Sun Belt Conference tournament.
George Fant scored 12 on 6-of-6 shooting for the Hilltoppers (17-15), who are the sixth seed in the tournament. They meet No. 3 seed South Alabama in Saturday's quarterfinals.Ten players scored for Western Kentucky, which shot 69 percent in the first half on the way to a 46-24 lead. The Hilltoppers finished at 58 percent.Kyle Koszuta led Louisiana-Monroe (4-23) with 15 points. Millaun Brown scored 12, and Trent Mackey and Amos Olatayo had 10 points each for the Warhawks, who lost their last six games.Western Kentucky is the defending Sun Belt tournament champion, having won as the No. 7 seed last season.