DENTON, Texas (AP) Tiras Wade had 25 points and Chris Cameron scored 16 of his 19 points in the second half as defending Sun Belt Conference tournament champs Louisiana-Lafayette defeated Florida International 80-69 in the semifinals Monday night.
Louisiana-Lafayette (19-10) will play Denver (20-9) in the championship Tuesday night for an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Denver beat Western Kentucky 77-68 earlier Monday night.
Florida International (13-17) was looking to become the first team with a sub .500 record to win the Sun Belt tourney. Junior Matias scored 17 points and Ivan Almonte added 14 points and eight rebounds.
The Golden Panthers were within 46-43 early in the second half, but the Ragin' Cajuns went on a 20-6 to break the game open.
Cameron, who was just 1-of-5 in the first half, hit consecutive 3-pointers to put Louisiana-Lafayette ahead 59-47. Wade made a 3-pointer and Cameron followed with a layup as the Ragin' Cajuns went ahead 66-49 with 9:24 left.
Louisiana-Lafayette's Dwayne Mitchell had 14 points and 11 rebounds and Brian Hamilton scored 13 points and grabbed 14 rebounds.
The Ragin' Cajuns jumped out to a 10-2 advantage four minutes into the game and led 44-35 behind Wade's 19 points.
Florida International opened the second half by hitting 4-of-6 shots and cut the deficit to three points on Byron Burnett's dunk.