PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas (AP) — Darius Thompson scored 12 points and hit two clinching free throws with 5.1 seconds left to help Western Kentucky upset No. 18 Purdue 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.
P.J. Thompson hit a corner 3-pointer with 5.8 seconds remaining to bring the Boilermakers (4-2) to 75-73, but 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.
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.
Purdue: That’s an 0-2 showing in two days for the Boilermakers in the Bahamas. The high-scoring, 3-point shooting offense hasn’t found its rhythm here, though Purdue shot 50 percent after halftime in this one to give itself a chance late.
Western Kentucky: The Hilltoppers were coming off a loss to No. 5 Villanova, making this the first time they had played consecutive games against ranked opponents since the 1993 NCAA Tournament. But they earned a win against a ranked team for just the second time in the last 15 tries.
Purdue: The Boilermakers will play the Arizona-SMU loser in Friday’s seventh-place game.
Western Kentucky: The Hilltoppers will play the Arizona-SMU winner in Friday’s fifth-place game.