RUSTON, La. (AP) _ Ayana Walker had 17 points, 12 rebounds and two blocked shots Thursday night as No. 7 Louisiana Tech moved closer to its ninth straight Sun Belt Conference regular season championship with a 65-58 victory over Florida International.

Cheryl Ford added 11 points and 10 rebounds before fouling out and Takeisha Lewis scored 10 points as Tech (18-4 overall, 9-0 Sun Belt) shook loose from a 29-29 halftime tie to outscore FIU (15-4, 7-2) 36-29 in the second half.

The victory gave Tech, which held a 43-28 rebounding edge over the taller Golden Panthers, a two-game lead over FIU atop the Sun Belt standings with seven conference games remaining.

Gergna Slavtcheva led FIU with 17 points, Ivelina Vrancheva 15 and Cheryl Moody 10.