Western Kentucky tops North Texas 84-76 in C-USA tourney

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) Justin Johnson had 17 points and 10 rebounds to help No. 8 seed Western Kentucky beat ninth-seeded North Texas 84-76 in the second round of the Conference USA tournament Wednesday.

Aaron Cosby and Nigel Snipes scored 16 apiece for Western Kentucky, while Chris McNeal added nine points, eight rebounds and eight assists.

The Hilltoppers (17-15) will face top-seeded UAB (26-5) in the quarterfinals Thursday.

A 3-pointer by Eric Katenda put North Texas (12-20) 19-18 with 9:44 left in the first half.

Ben Lawson converted a 3-point play to cap a 16-2 run over the next five-plus minutes and Western Kentucky took a 40-28 lead into the break and UNT never threatened in the second half.

WKU beat the Mean Green for the sixth consecutive time and has won four in a row overall.

Katenda led North Texas with 22 points.

The Hilltoppers shot a season-high 60.4 percent (29 of 48) from the field and outrebounded UNT 43-29.

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