Hollingsworth Leads W Kentucky Past Okla St, into NIT Semis
STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) — Freshman Taveion Hollingsworth matched his career high with 30 points and Western Kentucky advanced to the final four of the NIT for the first time since 1948 with a 92-84 victory over Oklahoma State on Wednesday night.
The fourth-seeded Hilltoppers (27-10) made 15 of 18 free throws in in the last three minutes to hold off the second-seeded Cowboys (21-15), who missed six of eight shots in the last two minutes.
Western Kentucky will face Utah in the semifinals at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday.
Hollingsworth had a pair of 3-point plays and eight points in a 12-2 run that helped Western Kentucky open a nine-point lead in the first quarter. Kendall Smith and Tavarius Shine each had two 3-pointers in the second quarter to help the Cowboys close within 43-41 at the half. Oklahoma State tied the game once late in the third quarter but after pulling within 80-77 with 2:11 left went cold.
Lamonte Beardan added 19 points. and Dwight Coleby had 16 with 13 rebounds for WKU.
Smith had 19 points, and Shine 13 for Oklahoma State, which was bidding for a school-record 16th home win on the season in front of a record post-season crowd of 11,308.