By KURT VOIGT
AP Sports Writer
HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (AP) - George Fant had 17 points and 13 rebounds and Western Kentucky earned its second straight NCAA tournament berth with a 65-63 win over Florida International in the Sun Belt Conference championship game Monday night.
The fifth-seeded Hilltoppers (20-15) used the same script as last season, winning four games in four days to secure their fourth NCAA tournament appearance in six seasons. They capped the run by never trailing in the second half and holding on against the resurgent Panthers.
Florida International (18-14) led by as many as eight in the first half one night after shocking top-seeded Middle Tennessee, but the Panthers were unable to overcome 24 of 62 shooting.
Cameron Bell led Florida International with 15 points.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.