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FLORIDA INTL  43   28   71 
UL-LAFAYETTE  34   35   69 

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) - Freddy Asprilla had 15 points and 11 rebounds in Florida International's 71-69 win over Louisiana-Lafayette in the opening round of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament on Wednesday night.

The Golden Panthers (13-19) shot 62.1 percent from the field in the first half (18 of 29) to take a 43-34 lead at the break, and Louisiana-Lafayette (10-20) couldn't recover.

Nikola Gacesa scored 14 points and Josue Soto added 11 for No. 9 seeded FIU.

The eighth-seeded Ragin' Cajuns fell for the second straight year as a host team. Last year they were seeded No. 5 when Troy upset them 70-60.

Louisiana-Lafayette was led by Tyren Johnson with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Randell Daigle and Chris Gradnigo added 12 points each for the Ragin' Cajuns.

FIU faces top-seeded Western Kentucky in the quarterfinals in Hot Springs, Ark. on Sunday.