Nov. 13 (UPI) -- The unranked Evansville Purple Aces provided one of the biggest upsets in recent men's college basketball history Tuesday night, shocking No. 1 Kentucky on their home floor.
Evansville (2-0) pulled off the 67-64 victory in front of a crowd of more than 19,000 Tuesday at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky. Senior guard K.J. Riley led the Purple Aces with a game-high 18 points.
"We just showed the world that we can play," Riley told reporters. "Anybody can play with anybody. We played with confidence and we stuck to the game plan."
Evansville used an 8-0 run to take a 24-16 lead with 6:14 remaining in the first half. Kentucky (2-1) narrowed Evansville's lead before the Purple Aces responded with an 8-2 run to push the lead to back to eight points shortly before halftime. Sam Cunliffe paced Evansville with 15 points in the first half, while Immanuel Quickley chipped in nine points for Kentucky. Evansville led 34-30 at the break.
Wildcats guard Tyrese Maxey scored nine points in the first 7:31 of the second half and tied the game at 46-46 with a 3-pointer. The score went back and forth until Riley hit a 3-pointer to give Evansville a 56-53 lead with 7:18 remaining. The Purple Aces held onto the lead for the remainder of the contest.
Cunliffe had 17 points and six rebounds off the bench for Evansville. Quickley led the Wildcats with 16 points and nine rebounds. Maxey scored 15 points for Kentucky.
"They executed, they made shots, threes and free throws," Kentucky coach John Calipari said. "My hat is off to them. It's hard to do that in this building, but they were more ready to play."
Kentucky basketball legend Walter McCarty is the Evansville men's basketball coach.
"All I've preached to them is if we are the hardest playing team, the most physical, the most connected, we can win a lot of ball games," McCarty said. "Our guys stuck to the game plan and we executed, and we really trusted each other."
The Wildcats still have opportunities to notch some key wins before Southeastern Conference play begins. They play Georgia Tech, Utah, Ohio State and Louisville in December. The games against the Utes and Buckeyes will be played in Las Vegas on Dec. 18 and 21.
Kentucky next hosts Utah Valley at 7 p.m. EST Monday and Evansville hosts Indiana University Kokomo at 7 p.m. Thursday.