Double-teaming Louisville's freshman big man at every turn, the Hilltoppers stunned the Cardinals, 68-54, yesterday in Nashville, Tenn., for their first victory over a top-three opponent in more than 40 years.
A.J. Slaughter led the Hilltoppers (3-2) with a career-high 25 points, and Steffphon Pettigrew added 17 points and 12 rebounds for Western Kentucky, which dominated the Cardinals (2-1) at both ends of the floor in the second half.
"They probably underestimated us because we're Western Kentucky and they're the No. 3 team in the country," said Pettigrew, who grew up in Elizabethtown, Ky., about 30 minutes south of Louisville.
Terrence Williams had 19 points for Louisville, which shot just 27 percent.
Western Kentucky held Louisville without a field goal for nearly 10 minutes in the second half and rode Slaughter and Pettigrew to the program's biggest regular-season win since knocking off then-No. 4 Kentucky in 2001.
It was Western Kentucky's first victory over a top-three team since it knocked off No. 3 Indiana in 1967.
No. 9 Gonzaga 83, No. 12 Tennessee 74: : Steven Gray scored 19 points, Matt Bouldin added 17 and the Bulldogs (4-0) beat the Volunteers (5-1) to win the Old Spice Classic in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Gonzaga led by 18 before Tennessee rallied to close to 77-71 on Cameron Tatum's three-pointer with just more than a minute left. Micah Downs hit five of six free throws and Jeremy Pargo had a fast-break dunk to help the Bulldogs hold on.
No. 1 North Carolina 116, North Carolina-Asheville 48: : Ty Lawson scored 22 points to help the host Tar Heels (7-0) beat the Bulldogs (3-3) despite playing without National Player of the Year Tyler Hansbrough. North Carolina didn't miss Hansbrough, who sat out as a precaution as he continues to recover from a preseason injury to his right shin.
No. 5 Michigan State 65, Wichita State 57: : Marquis Gray scored 12 points to lead the Spartans (4-1) past the Shockers (2-2) in the Old Spice Classic. Michigan State took fifth place in the holiday tournament, bouncing back after a first-round upset by Maryland to win two straight.
No. 6 Texas 77, Rice 56: : Justin Mason had 14 points to lead five players in double-digit scoring and the host Longhorns (5-1) shook off any lingering jet lag from a tournament in Hawaii to rout the Owls (2-4).
No. 8 Notre Dame 93, Furman 61: : Kyle McAlarney scored 32 points to lead the Fighting Irish (5-1) to their school-record 39th straight home victory, beating the Paladins (1-4) without Luke Harangody (pneumonia). McAlarney was 9-for-17 from three-point range.
No. 14 Arizona State 88, Texas-El Paso 58:: James Harden scored a career-high 40 points to lead the Sun Devils (5-1) to a lopsided win over the Miners (3-3) in the third-place game of the 76 Classic in Anaheim, Calif.
No. 17 Florida 86, Missouri-Kansas City 65: : Alex Tyus scored 25 points as the Gators (5-1) used an 18-0 run that carried over into the second half to beat the Kangaroos (3-5) in Orlando, Fla.
No. 1 Connecticut 106, No. 4 Oklahoma 78: : Renee Montgomery scored a career-high 30 points and matched the school record with 13 assists to help the host Huskies (5-0) rout the Sooners (4-2). Montgomery, who got the first double double of her career, tied the assists record set by Laura Lishness in 1991 against Seton Hall.
No. 5 Stanford 83, Hawaii 54: : Jillian Harmon had 18 points in the first half and the Cardinal (6-1) rolled over the Rainbow Wahine (0-6) to finish 3-0 at the Waikiki Beach Marriott Classic in Honolulu.
No. 11 Texas 88, Florida Atlantic 38: : Brittainey Raven scored 13 points to help the Longhorns (7-0) beat the host Owls (3-3) in the title game of the FAU Thanksgiving Classic.
Gonzaga 69, No. 16 Virginia 62: : Heather Bowman scored 18 points to lead the Bulldogs (7-1) to an upset of the Cavaliers (5-2) in the WBCA Classic in Milwaukee. Monica Wright scored 26 to lead Virginia.
No. 19 Purdue 65, Prairie View A&M; 51: : Lakisha Freeman scored 20 points and the Boilermakers (5-1) closed on a 20-6 run to beat the Panthers (1-6) in the Waikiki Beach Marriott Classic.
No. 23 Old Dominion 97, Norfolk State 54: : Jessica Canady scored eight of her 24 points during a 22-3 run to start the game and the Monarchs (4-2) led by 47 in routing the Spartans (0-4) and stretching their home winning streak to 28.
No. 25 Iowa State 87, San Diego State 71: : Heather Ezell had 21 points and seven assists to lead the Cyclones (5-1) past the Aztecs (4-3) at the Waikiki Beach Marriott Classic.
Off the court
Notre Dame: : Forward Devereaux Peters will miss the rest of the season for the 14th-ranked Fighting Irish after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee for the second time in nine months.