Wisconsin hangs on for 81-80 win over Western Kentucky
MADISON, Wis. (AP) Brad Davison’s free throw with two seconds to go lifted Wisconsin to an 81-80 win against Western Kentucky on Wednesday night.
Darius Thompson tear-drop jumper tied the score at 80-80 for Western Kentucky with two seconds left in regulation. Davison drew a foul while setting a screen and made the front end of a 1-and-1.
Ethan Happ and Brevin Pritzl scored 17 points each for Wisconsin (5-7), which snapped a two-game losing streak. Davison scored 16 points and Aleem Ford 14 or the Badgers, who shot 12 of 20 from 3-point range. Ford and Pritzl were 4 of 5 from long range.
Lamonte Bearden scored 19 points and Thompson added 18 for Western Kentucky (6-4). Bearden, a transfer, played prep basketball at Germantown (Wis.) High School, a Milwaukee suburb. This season is Bearden’s first, after sitting out due to transfer rules. Bearden fouled out with 7.9 seconds to go.
Western Kentucky strung together a 14-0 run to nab the lead. Jake Ohmer drilled back-to-back 3-pointers to start the run, which was capped by a Thompson layup that gave the Hilltoppers a 34-29 edge with 3:08 to go in the first.
The Badgers managed only one field goal in their final six attempts in the first, Pritzl’s 3-pointer that pulled Wisconsin within at 38-34 at the break.
After consecutive 3-pointers by Pritzl and Davison early in the second half, the Badgers never trailed again. A 9-0 pushed the lead to 10 with 12:21 to play but the Hilltoppers clawed back. They tied the game at 71 on a Thompson 3 and Ohmer’s layup with 4:48 to play and stayed in the game by hitting 9 of 11 from the line in the second half to 10 of 19 for the Badgers.
Western Kentucky: The Hilltoppers’ scoring game is good inside and out. Western Kentucky scored 26 first-half points in the paint. But they’re also comfortable on the perimeter. Western Kentucky shot 4 of 7 from 3-point range in the first and finished 7 of 14. … Justin Johnson, Bearden and Ohmer combined for 27 of Western Kentucky’s first-half points, including 4 of 6 shooting from long range.
Wisconsin: Ford was active and comfortable on both ends of the court early in the first half. The true freshman drilled back-to-back 3-pointers as the Badgers opened with three-pointers on its first three possessions to take a 9-2 lead. In the first, Ford had 9 points, 3 assists, 2 rebounds and blocked a shot attempt in the lane by Western Kentucky’s Bearden.
Western Kentucky: Home against Indiana State on Saturday.
Wisconsin: Hosts Wisconsin-Green Bay on Dec. 23.