“To be here is a dream come true,” Purple Aces sophomore DeAndre Williams said after the game. “We took advantage and we made history.”
Evansville’s DeAndre Williams, top left, and Jawaun Newton (3) celebrate after the team’s NCAA college basketball game against Kentucky in Lexington, Ky., Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019. Evansville won 67-64. (AP Photo/James Crisp)
Sam Cunliffe scored 17 points, including two free throws with 6.8 seconds left in the game. The Wildcats were 25-points favorites going into the game, which most would think would have been a routine win for a top-ranked team, according to the Associated Press.
It’s a signature win for Evansville coach Walter McCarty – who led Kentucky to a national championship in 1996. It’s the first time Evansville has ever beaten a No. 1 team.
“We just believed and trusted each other and made plays for each other. Guys came out and gave their all. They’ve got a good basketball team. Kentucky’s going to be a really good team, going to be around at the end of it,” he said. “We played a heck of a game tonight.”
McCarty received huge praise from Kentucky coach John Calipari aft the game.
“Walter and their team deserved to win,” Calipari said. “If we would have somehow pulled it out, it would have been, kind of wouldn’t even have been fair because they fought us the whole game and they were the tougher team.”
He added: “They executed, they made shots and 3s and free throws. My hat’s off to them. It’s hard to do that in this building, but they were more ready to play. He had his team better prepared than I had my team.”
Tyrese Maxey had a chance to win the game with a long three-pointer at the end of the game, but his shot missed. He scored 15 points. Teammate Immanuel Quickley led the Wildcats.