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03/11/2013 12:30 AM EDT
FIU upsets Middle Tennessee 61-57 in Sun Belt semi
FIU 61, MIDDLE TENN 57

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (AP) -- Deric Hill had 16 points and Malik
Smith scored 14, including two late free throws, as Florida
International upset top-seeded Middle Tennessee 61-57 in the Sun
Belt Conference tournament semifinals Sunday night.



FIU led 33-24 at halftime and maintained the lead, though it was
down to two points twice in the final seconds. Hill's layup with
12 seconds left and Smith's free throws with 7 seconds to go
clinched it for the fourth-seeded Golden Panthers (18-13), who
will play Western Kentucky in Monday's championship game.



Middle Tennessee (28-5) saw the nation's longest winning streak
end at 17 games. The Blue Raiders, Sun Belt regular-season
champions with a 19-1 record, will wait for a possible NCAA
tournament at-large bid. They last qualified in 1989.



Cameron Bell scored 15 for FIU. Shawn Jones scored 17 to lead
the Blue Raiders and Marcos Knight had 13 points and 11
rebounds.

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