Florida International didn't have quite enough energy left to complete a remarkable tournament run.
The fourth-seeded Panthers, one night after shocking top-seeded Middle Tennessee, led early before falling behind for good in a 65-63 loss to Western Kentucky in the Sun Belt Conference championship game Monday.
Cameron Bell led four Florida International players in double figures with 15 points, but his effort wasn't enough for the Panthers to overcome a 24-of-62 shooting performance.
Malik Smith added 14, Jerome Fink 13 and Tymell Murphy 11 for FIU (18-14), which was attempting to reach the NCAA tournament for just the second time in school history.
''We were probably a little tired; we had such a war last night,'' Panthers coach Richard Pitino said. ''To beat a team as good as Middle Tennessee ... takes a lot out of a team.''
Western Kentucky's George Fant, meanwhile, had plenty of energy and motivation following an 0-for-5 shooting performance in a thrilling last-minute win o...