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SW Louisiana 98, W. Kentucky 94

March 2, 1996

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) _ Conley Verdun hit a tournament-record seven 3-pointers to lift Southwestern Louisiana to a 98-94 victory over Western Kentucky in the Sun Belt Conference quarterfinals Saturday.

Verdun, who scored 16 points in the game’s first 10 1/2 minutes, shook off occasional double-teaming and hit three 3-pointers in the second half, finishing with 27 points for the Ragin’ Cajuns (16-11).

Pop Thornton scored 27 for the Hilltoppers (13-14), who lost a tournament-opening game for the first time since 1991. Western had won two of the last three Sun Belt tournaments and the automatic NCAA bid that goes with it.

Verdun’s fourth three-pointer of the game, at the 11:05 mark, gave Southwestern Louisiana a 26-21 lead, but Thornton dominated inside to keep the Hilltoppers close and Western led 52-51 at the half.

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