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Western Kentucky beats Valparaiso 83-71

CONWAY, S.C. -- Jared Savage scored a career-high 25 points, including five 3-pointers, and Taveion Hollingsworth had 23 points and nine rebounds to help Western Kentucky beat Valparaiso 83-71 on Thursday night to advance to the semifinals of the Myrtle Beach Invitational.

The Hilltoppers (2-1) will play Monmouth or West Virginia on Friday for a place in the championship game.

Savage scored 11 points, including three 3-pointers, during a tie-breaking 13-4 run and, after Valpo's Deion Lavender hit two free throws, Hollingsworth made a 3 and then converted a 3-point play to give WKU a 44-31 lead late in the first half. Lavender's 3 capped a 10-2 spurt that pulled the Crusaders within 58-55 but the Hilltoppers scored 13 of the next 17 points to push their lead back into double figures and Valparaiso trailed by at least seven the rest of the way.

Markus Golder had 15 points, on 5-of-7 shooting, and eight rebounds for Valpo (1-1). The rest of the Crusaders made just 19 of 54 (35 percent) from the field.

Western Kentucky shot 51 percent overall, including 9 of 17 from 3-point range.