BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) - Sergio Kerusch had 26 points and 11 rebounds as Western Kentucky outlasted Florida International 80-73 on Thursday night.
Steffphon Pettigrew added 20 points and 10 rebounds for the Hilltoppers (14-14, 8-7 Sun Belt Conference).
The Panthers (9-18, 4-11) went on a 7-0 run to cut Western Kentucky's lead to 72-68 with 51 seconds remaining, but they were not able to get any closer.
The Hilltoppers, who have won four of their last five, made their free throws down the stretch and finished the game making 23 of 30 attempts.
Western Kentucky led 42-29 at halftime after Pettigrew made a 3-pointer as time expired. He had 16 of his points in the first half.
The Panthers shot 20 of 56 for the game (35.7 percent), while the Hilltoppers were 26 of 55 (47.3 percent).
DeJuan Wright scored 19 points and Eric Frederick added 18 for the Panthers, who have lost 11 of 12.
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