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WKU wins consecutive NIT games for 1st time since 1948

LOS ANGELES (AP) Justin Johnson scored 23 points and Western Kentucky won consecutive NIT games for the first time since 1948 with a 79-75 victory over USC on Monday night.

Johnson spun in the paint and hit his patented hook shot with 1:03 remaining to give WKU a 76-73 lead and after Nick Rakocevic answered with a layup, Johnson went 1 of 2 at the free-throw line at 33.1.

USC freshman Jordan Usher air-balled a 3-pointer with 24.2 left and the Trojans didn't foul, allowing Dwight Coleby to seal it with a dunk at 11.3.

Coleby finished with 13 points, Lamonte Bearden had 11 and Josh Anderson 10 for WKU (26-10), which plays Oklahoma State in the quarterfinals on Wednesday night.

WKU extended its made 3-pointer streak to 974 consecutive games, dating to March 15, 1987, for fifth-longest in the nation behind UNLV, Vanderbilt, Duke and Arkansas.

Elijah Stewart led USC (24-12) with four 3-pointers and 20 points.

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Updated March 20, 2018

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