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December 18, 2008MOBILE, Ala. (AP)-- A.J. Slaughter scored 21 points to lead Western Kentucky to a 69-66 win over South Alabama in both teams' conference opener Thursday night.
The Hilltoppers (6-3, 1-0 Sun Belt Conference) received 20 points from Orlando Mendez-Valdez, who shot 7-for-11 from the field. Jeremy Evans chipped in with 12 points and two blocked shots.
Domonic Tilford scored a game-high 30 points for the Jaguars (6-5, 0-1). He shot 9 of 16 from the field and 7 of 11 from 3-point range. LaShun Watson and DeAndre Coleman added 10 points apiece for South Alabama.
The Jaguars outrebounded Western Kentucky 35-31, but shot only 57.1 percent from the free-throw line (8-for-14).
The Hilltoppers shot 48.2 percent from the field (27-for-56), and 43.8 percent from 3-point range (7-for-16).