Kansas Jayhawks made a rally after halftime to beat the Kentucky Wildcats in a tough and tumultuous match at Cameron Indoor last night.
The final result of the State Farm Champions Classic was 65-62 for the No.7, who now has two wins and a loss following three games played. The focal point of this event was Jalen Wilson, who was the only bright spot on the court.
Jayhawks’ forward had 23 points and 10 boards, being the sole player with a decent shooting percentage. In the end, he was 8-for-16, adding two threes as well. His teammate Ochai Agbaji was there to score when needed the most, as the 6-foot-5 guard broke a late tie with a three and a dunk to lift Kansas to 60-55.
Agbaji would score 17 points, have five boards and three assists. Christian Braun had a very notable contribution on the glass with 13 rebounds, six of them offensive. The Jayhawks were losing 32-20 with 4:23 until the half. Yet a 15-5 series after the break saw them taking a 44-40 lead. After that, it was back and forth, but Bill Self’s guys managed to shut down the rivals when needed.
On the other side, the No.20 Wildcats were utterly inefficient, having just two players with double-digit figures in the points column, Brandon Boston Jr. and Davion Mintz, who both had 12 points each.
Both sides had a poor shooting percentage, with Jayhawks posting 29.9% and Kentucky 36.1%.
Up next, the Wildcats meet Georgia Tech, while Kansas hosts Washburn.
In the second Champions Classic match, which preceded this one, No.8 Michigan State Spartans defeated No.6 Duke Blue Devils, 75-69. They, too, were trailing with a double-digit difference early one but had a superb finish of the first half, making a 13-4 run to turn the tide and kill “hosts’” morale.
In no time, the Spartans were up 51-36, successfully keeping that lead, and closing the contest without any troubles. Five of their players had 10 or more points. Rocket Watts added 20 with 7-for-16 from the field, Aaron Henry scored 14 having five assists and boards each, but with three steals and blocks. Joey Hauser delivered a double-double with 11 buckets and 10 boards.
Julius Marble II scored 12 and Malik Hall 10, off the bench.
Matthew Hurt was the best with the Blue Devils with 21 points and 13 rebounds, Jalen Johnson and Jaemyn Brakefield had 11 each, while Jordan Goldwire contributed 10.
Duke faces Bellarmine next, and Spartans await Detroit.