Kansas went to Kentucky for a much-hyped showdown and came out of Rupp Arena with a big non-conference win.
Josh Jackson opened up the scoring in this one as Kansas and Kentucky began going back and forth. However, the Wildcats would open up first half leads of 20-10 and 29-17. The Jayhawks would come back late in the first half to make keep it competitive, closing to within 31-27 on a Lagerald Vick dunk. Kentucky would take a 32-27 lead into halftime.
Kansas would open up the second half with back-to-back Josh Jackson three pointers, taking a 33-32 lead one minute into the half. Kentucky quickly reclaimed the lead, going up 45-40 with 15:33 to go , but KU closed back in, tying the game at 47-all. The Jayhawks would take a 49-47 lead with 12:58 to play on a Landen Lucas tip-in. From there, the two teams traded blows. After Kansas took a 60-59 lead with 7:19 to play on a Josh Jackson tip-in, Kansas went on a 9-0 run to build a 10-point lead.
Kentucky would close to within 71-66 after a pair of Bam Adebayo free throws. However, several terrible foul calls on KU with under a minute left allowed the Wildcats to keep things interesting, getting back to within 77-73 with 22 seconds left. Kansas would hold on, however, and take a 79-73 decision.
This and That
Kentucky fans began leaving Rupp Arena with about a minute to go. It was a beautiful sight.
Frank Mason led all scorers with 21 points on 9-18 shooting.
Josh Jackson put up a double-double, scoring 20 points on 9-17 shooting and grabbing 10 rebounds.
Landen Lucas was HUGE for Kansas in this game, going a perfect 6-6 from the field, finishing with 13 points and 5 rebounds.
KU got some solid minutes out of Dwight Coleby, even though he did have 4 fouls.
Kansas only shot 5-19 (26.3%) from 3-point range.
Kentucky made 8-20 (40.0%) threes.
Kansas continued its struggles at the free throw line, including several misses late in the game, only hitting 10-18 (55.6%).
Fortunately, Kentucky faced similar free throw struggles, only making 13-22 (59.1%).
Kansas will host the Baylor Bears at Allen Fieldhouse on Wednesday, February 1, at 8 PM.
We’ll have more on the Kentucky game over the next day or two, but for now, the comments section is yours.