DAYTON, Ohio, March 13 (UPI) -- Derrick Gordon scored 11 second-half points Tuesday and Western Kentucky rallied to edge Mississippi Valley State 59-58 in the NCAA Tourney opener.
T.J. Price also scored 11, including a go-ahead 3-point play with 33.8 seconds to go, as the Hilltoppers (16-18) staged a furious comeback to wipe out a 16-point deficit over the final 5 minutes in a First Four play-in game.
No. 16 seed Western Kentucky forced a series of turnovers and turned them into fast-break points on the other end to spark the rally.
The victory put the Hilltoppers into a first-round meeting with top-seeded Kentucky Friday.
Kevin Burwell led Mississippi Valley State (21-13) with 20 points.