LEXINGTON, Va. — Trey Chapman knocked in a pair of free throws in the final minute and Keith Smith blocked Western Carolina’s final shot as VMI held on for a 79-78 victory on Thursday night for its first Southern Conference win of the season.

Elijah Pughsley had pulled Western Carolina within a point at the free-throw line and grabbed a clutch defensive rebound with nine seconds remaining, but had his 3-point attempt blocked by Smith with one second on the clock.

Chapman scored 18 points for the Keydets (4-11, 1-3), including 8 of 10 free-throw attempts. QJ Peterson led with 19 points and 10 rebounds, his third double-double of the season, and Smith tossed in 13 points and had two shot blocks, his most this season.

Pughsley scored 18 points off the bench for the Catamounts (5-12, 0-4) and shot 4 for 8 from distance. Adam Sledd also scored a season-high 18 for Western Carolina.