HOT SPRINGS, AR (Sports Network) – Tristan Thompson poured in 28 points to lead the Mean Green of North Texas to an 81-62 victory over the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers in semifinal round action of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament at Summit Arena.
Josh White added 18 points and seven assists for the Mean Green (22-10), who will have a chance to repeat as league champions on Tuesday night when they face the fifth seed from the west division, the Arkansas-Little Rock Trojans.
North Texas, which is playing as the fourth seed out of the west division, also received 16 points and nine rebounds from George Odufuwa.
As for the Hilltoppers (16-16), they were led by Juan Pattillo’s double-double of 20 points and 10 rebounds. Sergio Kerusch added 16 points for Western Kentucky, which was the third seed out of the east division.
The Hilltoppers shot 45.5 percent over the first 20 minutes of action, but the Mean Green shot slightly better, posting a 48.6 percent clip, which gave them a slim 40-39 edge at the break.
North Texas pulled away in the second stanza, as the Mean Green improved to 60.9 percent shooting, while the Hilltoppers turned ice cold, connecting on just 32.1 percent of their attempts from the floor. The drastic difference over the final 20 minutes of action led to the 19-point win for North Texas.
North Texas finished the contest with a 53.4 percent shooting effort from the floor.