HILLTOPPERS LOSE 81-80 HEARTBREAKER AT WISCONSIN
MADISON, Wis. — WKU Hilltopper Basketball went toe-to-toe with Wisconsin on its home court Wednesday, but a free throw by the Badgers with two seconds left was the difference in an 81-80 loss at the Kohl Center.
WKU senior guard Darius Thompson tied the game at 80-80 with a floater in the lane with two seconds remaining, and it looked like the game was likely headed to overtime with Wisconsin needing to go the length of the court.
But instead, WKU freshman forward Marek Nelson was called for a foul before the ball was thrown in-bounds, and Wisconsin's Brad Davison made 1 of 2 free throws to seal the victory.
WKU was looking for its first true road win at a current Big Ten Conference member.
Redshirt junior guard Lamonte Bearden led the Hilltoppers with 19 points, five assists, five rebounds and two steals, while Thompson finished with 18 points, six rebounds, four assists and four steals.
Senior forward Justin Johnson had 13 points, and freshman guards Taveion Hollingsworth and Jake Ohmer each scored 12 points.
WKU trailed by as much as 10 in the first half, but the Hilltoppers used a 17-2 run to surge ahead 34-29 with 3:09 left in the frame on Thompson's layup.
WKU led 38-34 at the break, but Wisconsin made three 3-pointers in the first 2:05 of the second half. The Hilltoppers didn't go away again, however, and tied the game with under five minutes left behind a 17-6 run capped with Ohmer's steal and layup to make it 71-all.
Thompson knotted it up again at 80-80 before the final foul call and Davison's winning free throw.
Ethan Happ and Brevin Pritzl each had 17 points for Wisconsin, which shot 72.7 percent in the second half and made 12 of 20 3-pointers for the game.
WKU shot 54.2 percent from the field, outrebounded Wisconsin 26-25 and outscored the Badgers in the paint 46-28.
The Hilltoppers return home to host Indiana State at 11 a.m. CT Saturday at E.A. Diddle Arena.