NEW YORK (AP) — George Fant scored eight of his 17 points in the last 7 minutes and T.J. Price was a cool 4 of 4 at the foul line in the final 15 seconds as Western Kentucky fought off a St. Joseph’s rally 62-59 Thursday night at the NIT Season Tip-Off at Madison Square Garden.
Fant notched the Hilltoppers’ (2-3) first double-double of the season with a career-high 15 rebounds.
St. Joseph’s launched several short runs to challenge after trailing 34-21 at halftime. DeAndre’ Bembry boosted the Hawks (3-3) ahead 54-52 with 2:47 remaining — their first lead in 30 minutes of play. Bembry scored 16 of his career-high 23 after halftime, but missed a potential game-tying 3 in the final seconds.
Fant sank two free throws and a big putback to put the Hilltoppers up four inside the final minute, and Price was perfect at the line for WKU’s first win at Madison Square Garden since 1986.