Western Kentucky knocks off No. 18 Purdue
Justin Johnson scored 17 points, and Jake Ohmer and Taveion Hollingsworth each scored 15 on Thursday night to lead Western Kentucky to a 77-73 upset of No. 18 Purdue in the Battle 4 Atlantis consolation bracket in Nassau, Bahamas.
Western Kentucky built an 11-point halftime lead and held on. The Hilltoppers (4-2) trailed only 3-2 and shot 53 percent from the field, including 52 percent from 3-point range, to build a 42-31 lead through 20 minutes.
Purdue (4-2) got a game-best 22 points from center Isaac Haas and 19 from point guard P.J. Thompson but could never pull even or take the lead in the second half.
It was Western Kentucky’s first victory over a power conference opponent in eight years.
Purdue, which lost to Tennessee in overtime in Wednesday’s opening round, had an extremely difficult time with the 6-foot-7 Johnson, who made big interior shot after big shot throughout the game, taking the ball right at the 7-2 Haas.
Ohmer and Hollingsworth hurt Purdue with their perimeter shooting.
The Boilermakers, who came to the Bahamas with an 11-game regular-season tournament winning streak, have lost two in a row and will play in the seventh-place game.
Western Kentucky will play No. 3 Arizona or unranked SMU on Friday for fifth place.