Western Kentucky outscored Boston College 22-9 in the second quarter to take an eight-point lead at the half, and the Hilltoppers went on to defeat the Eagles 79-62 in Bowling Green in a first-round NIT game.
Former Perry County Central star Justin Johnson led four Hilltoppers in double figures with 19 points, and he also had 12 rebounds and two blocked shots.
Taveion Hollingsworth, the 2017 Mr. Basketball winner out of Paul Laurence Dunbar, added 18 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals.
Hollingsworth became WKU’s all-time leading freshman scorer with 464 points. He surpassed the 461 points scored during the 2004-05 season by Courtney Lee, now with the NBA’s New York Knicks.
WKU (25-10) also got 17 points, eight assists and six rebounds from Darius Thompson while Lamonte Bearden had 10 points.
Freshman Jake Ohmer, a boys’ Sweet Sixteen hero last year for Scott, added eight points off the bench.
The Hilltoppers shot 55.4 percent from the field and outrebounded the Eagles 36-31.
Boston College (19-16) was led by Ky Bowman, who had 18 points and seven rebounds.
The Eagles were held to 38.5 percent from the field, including four of 19 three-point attempts (21.1 percent).
In the second round, Western will play the winner of a late Tuesday game between Southern Cal and UNC Asheville.
Note: NIT games will play out in four, 10-minute quarters instead of two, 20-minute halves.