HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (AP)—Malik Smith hit eight 3-pointers and scored 25 points as Florida International defeated Arkansas-Little Rock 69-54 Saturday night in the second round of the Sun Belt Conference tournament.
Smith was 8 of 10 beyond the arc for the fourth-seeded Golden Panthers (17-13), who will face top-seeded Middle Tennessee in the semifinals on Sunday.
Derric Hill added 12 points and seven assists for Florida International, and Tymell Murphy also scored 12.
Behind Smith’s marksmanship, the Panthers finished 11 for 26 beyond the arc.
Florida International jumped out to a 26-11 lead en route to a 34-26 halftime advantage. Little Rock got within 40-35 with 12:38 remaining, but Murphy hit two baskets and Smith followed with a 3 for a 47-35 lead as the Panthers pulled away for good.
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