W. Kentucky 66, Fla. International 48
Orlando Mendez-Valdez scored 18 points to lead Western Kentucky over Florida International 66-48 in the quarterfinals of the Sun Belt tournament Sunday. Mendez-Valdez was only 6-of-17 from the field, but he made more than enough shots to help the top-seeded Hilltoppers (22-8) move a step closer to another NCAA tournament berth. Western Kentucky reached the round of 16 last year. FIU (13-20) beat Western Kentucky once during the regular season, and the upset-minded Golden Panthers trailed just 29-25 at halftime Sunday. Mendez-Valdez sank a 3-pointer early in the second to make it 36-27, and his 3-pointer from behind the top of the key made it 58-41 as the Hilltoppers finally pulled away. Michael Dominguez led FIU with 12 points.