Paradise Island, Bahamas — Western Kentucky’s short-handed roster earned a rare win against a ranked team. And now No. 18 Purdue is trying to figure out what’s happened to its high-scoring offense.
Darius Thompson scored 12 points and hit two clinching free throws with 5.1 seconds left to help the Hilltoppers upset the Boilermakers 77-73 in Thursday’s consolation round at the Battle 4 Atlantis.
The Hilltoppers (3-2) led nearly the entire night, but needed to make several clutch plays late to hang on — the product of what coach Rick Stansbury called “just toughness” for a team with only eight available scholarship players.
“Today we were the toughest team,” he said. “We weren’t the best team. We found a way to win it. And we were the toughest team for sure.”
P.J. Thompson hit a corner 3-pointer with 5.8 seconds remaining to bring the Boilermakers (4-2) to 75-73, but Darius Thompson answered with two free throws that made it a two-possession game and all but sealed the win.
Justin Johnson led the Hilltoppers with 17 points, including a tough driving score for a five-point lead with 21 seconds left. That helped Western Kentucky beat a ranked team for just the second time in the last 15 tries.
“This team’s deserving of one like that,” Johnson said. “Coach always says practice should be harder than the game. If you come watch our practices … we get after it for 2 1/2 hours every day. And we go hard.”
Isaac Haas scored 22 points to lead Purdue, which shot just 32 percent in the first half. The Boilermakers trailed 42-31 at the break and never fully recovered, losing for the second straight day.
It prompted P.J. Thompson to say he thought the team played “entitled” and referenced last year’s run to the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16.
“That don’t mean nothing,” he said. “That just puts a target on your back. And if you’re not mature enough to handle a target on your back, then that stuff that happened this week is going to happen.”
More Big Ten
Central Florida 68, Nebraska 59: Ceasar DeJesus scored 15 points, and 7-foot-6 center Tacko Fall had 11 points and eight rebounds, in a first-round game at the Advocare Invitational in Lake Buena Vist, Florida. UCF (4-0) is off to its best start since 2010-11. James Palmer Jr. had 20 of his 22 points in the second half for Nebraska (3-2).
SMU 66, No. 2 Arizona 60: Ben Emelogu scored 20 points at Paradise Island, Bahamas, in the Battle 4 Atlantis consolation round, handing the Wildcats their second consecutive loss to an unranked opponent. The Mustangs (5-1) blew an 11-point lead in the second half, but responded with a 10-2 run to go ahead for good. SMU won despite shooting 31 percent, though the Mustangs scored 19 points off 20 Arizona turnovers. Shake Milton added 14 points, including four free throws in the final 70 seconds. And for the second straight night, the Wildcats (3-2) found themselves on the wrong side of a stunning defeat. Arizona lost 90-84 to North Carolina State on Wednesday in the first round.
No. 1 Duke 99, Portland State 91: Trevon Duval had 22 points and Duke pulled away to beat surprisingly tenacious Portland State to open the Phil Knight Invitational at Portland, Oregon. Marvin Bagley III added 18 points, and Grayson Allen had 14 points and nine assists. The Blue Devils (6-0) will face Texas on Friday. Duke trailed by as many as eight points, but took control midway through the second half when Wendell Carter Jr.’s dunk put the Blue Devils in front 67-62. They would go on to lead by as many as 21 points. It was coach Mike Krzyzewski’s 200th victory as coach of a No. 1-ranked team. He’s 200-29 when the Blue Devils sit atop the poll. Deontae North led the Vikings (4-1) with 24 points, including 20 in the first half, but fouled out with 8:39 left in the game.
No. 5 Villanova 85, Tennessee 76: Jalen Brunson scored 25 points and Villanova overcame a 15-point deficit to beat Tennessee at Paradise Island, Bahamas, in the Battle 4 Atlantis semifinals. The Wildcats (5-0) trailed 44-29 with 1:39 left before roaring out of a break with a dominating run. Villanova scored the first 11 points as part of a 23-2 burst. Mikal Bridges added 21 points for Villanova, which shot 52 percent after halftime and built a 15-point lead with 4:40 left. Grant Williams scored 20 points for Tennessee (3-1).
No. 7 Florida 108, Stanford 87: Egor Koulechov had 26 points and Florida routed Stanford in the Phil Knight Invitational at Portland, Oregon. Koulechov made all five of his 3-point attempts and Florida (4-0) hit 15 from long range overall. Jalen Hudson added 17 points, including a career-high four 3s. Reid Travis had 23 points for Stanford (3-3), which lost its second straight to a Top 10 opponent.
No. 9 North Carolina 102, Portland 78: Luke Maye had 20 points and 10 rebounds, Joel Berry II added 18 points and North Carolina overwhelmed Portland to open the PK80 Invitational at Portland, Oregon. Kenny Williams added 17 points and Theo Pinson had 11 points, nine rebounds and seven assists for the Tar Heels (4-0). They have scored at least 90 points in the past three games. Franklin Porter led the Pilots with 19 points and Marcus Shaver Jr. added 17.
No. 15 Xavier 83, George Washington 64: Trevon Bluiett scored 20 points to help Xavier beat George Washington in the Las Vegas Invitational. The Musketeers, who went into the game leading the Big East and ranked fifth nationally in field-goal percentage at 56.8, shot a blistering 62.5 from the field in the second half. Xavier (5-0) finished the game hitting 33 of 57 from the floor, including 5 of 13 from 3-point range. Terry Nolan Jr. led George Washington (2-3) with 18 points.
Rhode Island 75, No. 20 Seton Hall 74: Jared Terrell made a running layup with 5.2 seconds left to give Rhode Island the victory over Seton Hall in the second game of the Preseason NIT at New York. Terrell finished with 32 points to help the Rams improve to 3-1. Stanford Robinson added 15 points. Myles Powell led the Pirates (4-1) with 21 points. Angel Delgado had 18 points and 14 rebounds, and Khadeen Carrington and Desi Rodriguez had 12 points each. Following Terrell’s layup, Seton Hall inbounded the ball to Carrington, who raced up court but lost his dribble and the Pirates were unable to recover the loose ball before the buzzer sounded.
No. 21 Saint Mary’s 89, Harvard 71: Jock Landale scored 26 points and Saint Mary’s beat Harvard in the opening game of the Wooden Legacy at Fullerton, California. Emmett Naar just missed a triple double, finishing with 11 points, nine rebounds and nine assists for the Gaels (5-0). Bryce Aiken led the Crimson (2-3) with 22 points, including 20 in the second half when Harvard outscored Saint Mary’s 51-43. Chris Lewis added 18 points.
No. 23 West Virginia 84, Marist 78: Jevon Carter had 20 points, Sagaba Konate added 14 and West Virginia beat Marist in the opening round of the Advocare Invitational.
Carter hit a key trey that put West Virginia ahead 70-67 with 5 1/2 minutes left after Marist had pulled even on Brian Parker’s basket. The Mountaineers (4-1) shot 32 percent over the first 28 minutes and finished at 35 percent. David Knudsen led Marist (0-4) with 19 points.
Clemson 72, Detroit 44: In the relocated San Juan Shootout in Daytona Beach, Fla., Brianne Cohen scored 13 and had six rebounds to lead the Titans (0-4). Clemson is 4-1.
Detroit 72, (at) St. Louis 70: Late Wednesday, Kameron Chatman flicked a jump shot past two defenders with two seconds on the clock to lift the Titans (3-2) past the Billikens (3-2). Chatman scored 18 and had nine rebounds.