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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
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