Johnson sparks Western Kentucky past BC 79-62 in NIT opener


BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) — Justin Johnson had his fifth-straight double-double with 19 points and 12 rebounds to lead Western Kentucky to a 79-62 win over Boston College on Tuesday night in a first-round game of the NIT.


Taveion Hollingsworth added 18 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals for the Hilltoppers (25-10), a four-seed. Darius Thompson had 17 points, eight assists and six rebounds.

Boston College (19-16), a five seed, had an early 9-0 and used that to lead 24-19 after the first quarter. An early 7-0 burst, followed by a 9-0 run helped the Hilltoppers open a 41-33 halftime lead.

Johnson had back-to-back dunks and Thompson added another to give WKU a 50-37 lead midway through the third quarter. The Eagles followed with consecutive baskets but Thompson matched that and Western Kentucky led the rest of the way.

Ky Bowman had 18 points and Jerome Robinson 17 for the Eagles, who shot 38.5 percent compared to 55 percent for WKU.

The only other meeting was a WKU win in Dec. 1982. BC coach Jim Christian was an assistant coach at WKU from 1990-92 under Ralph Willard.


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