Johnson leads Western Kentucky to CUSA title game, 57-49
FRISCO, Texas (AP) — Justin Johnson scored seven straight Western Kentucky points to open up a slim lead and the No. 3 seed Hilltoppers fought past second-seeded Old Dominion 57-49 in the semifinals of the Conference-USA Tournament on Friday.
Western Kentucky (24-9) takes on fourth-seeded Marshall (23-10) in Saturday’s championship game.
The Hilltoppers led Old Dominion 47-44 with 3½ minutes left when Johnson went up against the Monarch’s leading scorer Trey Porter. Johnson made two free throws after being fouled by Porter, drove for a layup after rebounding a Porter miss, and answered Porter’s dunk with a 3-pointer.
The burst put Western Kentucky ahead 54-46 which was enough even as WKU made just 3 of 6 free throws down the stretch.
Johnson had a double-double with 19 points and 13 boards. Taveion Hollingsworth added 11 points.
Porter scored 19 to lead Old Dominion but was called for a technical and fouled out with 34 seconds remaining. The Monarchs lost three times to Western Kentucky this season.