December 30, 2018 / 12:59 AM / 23 days ago

No. 15 Wisconsin falls in rare visit to Western Ky.

A rare game called for a rare moment in Bowling Green, Ky.

As part of a home-and-home basketball series between Western Kentucky and No. 15 Wisconsin, the unusual arrangement also calls for a home football game for the Badgers.

It was a rare sight to see the Badgers in E.A. Diddle Arena on Saturday for many reasons.

It marked the first time since 2001-02 that the Badgers will play more nonconference games away from home (six) than at home (five).

Plus, the Badgers are the first active Big Ten team to play at Diddle Arena since Michigan in 1977.

The Hilltoppers certainly made Wisconsin’s visit memorable.

Taveion Hollingsworth scored a team-high 22 points and Charles Bassey shot 7-for-8 from the field to finish with 19 points to lead Western Kentucky to an 83-76 upset over the Badgers.

The Hilltoppers (7-6) shot 55.2 percent from the field and outscored the Badgers (10-3) 53-42 in the second half to pull off the shocker.

Jared Savage contributed 16 points and sophomore guard Josh Anderson added 15 points. Freshman guard Dalano Banton had a huge effort with eight points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists for the Hilltoppers.

Brad Davison led the Badgers with 26 points, but All-American candidate Ethan Happ shot 9-for-23 to finish with 20 points and 12 boards.

The back-and-forth second half featured numerous momentum swings.

Hollingsworth hit a jumper and Savage scored on a layup to tie the score at 38-38 with 17:52. Banton canned a 3-pointer to give the Hilltoppers a 41-38 edge, while Anderson’s dunk extended the lead to 43-38. Four-plus minutes later, Happ and Davison each scored on a layup to tie the score at 52-52.

But Banton and Hollingsworth followed by each drilling a 3-pointer to give the Hilltoppers a 63-55 lead with 9:16 left.

Davison countered with two baskets in a 25-second span to slice the deficit to 63-59. Bassey and Hollingsworth hit jumpers to push the lead to 69-59 at the 5:51 mark. Davison sparked a 6-0 run with four points but then Hollingsworth drilled two straight jumpers to increase WKU’s lead back to 73-65.

The Hilltoppers, No. 148 in the NET ranking, set the stage for a possible upset with a strong first half.

—Field Level Media

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