Hilltoppers hang on to beat So. Alabama

T.J. Price scored 22 points and Western Kentucky got a big boost from its bench to beat South Alabama 79-73 Thursday night.

The Hilltoppers (16-14, 10-9 Sun Belt Conference), who won their third straight game and avenged an earlier 65-57 loss at South Alabama, led 39-30 at halftime and by 14 points midway through the second half.

Behind Augustine Rubit (23 points), South Alabama got within 76-73 with 12 seconds left.

But George Fant (13 points) hit two clinching free throws.

Western Kentucky had a 30-7 advantage in bench scoring, led by Brandon Harris' 12 points. Aleksejs Rostov added 10 more.

The Hilltoppers also had a big edge in points off turnovers, outscoring the Jaguars 30-14.

Javier Carter posted a double-double for South Alabama with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Dre Conner and Antoine Allen added 12 apiece. The Jaguars had won five of their last six games.