Given Kentucky's length and defensive potential, many expected the Jayhawksto struggle getting buckets at times. That certainly proved to be the case, but fortunately for Kansas, the Wildcats weren't exactly scoring in bunches either, resulting in a tough, and at times ugly, low-scoring affair.
Kentucky held a small advantage over KU at the halftime break, with both teams shooting under 35%. The score was 35-29 in Kentucky's favor, but it was hard to consider either team's performance as particularity impressive.
The second half featured one fewer point scored as than the first, as each team fell in some indeterminate position between playing bad offense and playing great defense. There were great individual performances, which I'll get to in a moment, but overall this was a rock fight win where you're just glad it's over and you got the W. The close game was up for grabs until some clutch free throw shooting late by Ochai Agbaji and Christian Braun sealed the deal, 65-62.
Braun was one of the aforementioned great individual performances. The guard actually led the team in rebounds with 13, while also leading the team with two blocks. Those contributions were very important, because offensively he was uncharacteristically inefficient, scoring 8 points on 10 shots. The offensive star was redshirt freshman Jalen Wilson, who led the way with a 23-10 double double despite some foul trouble, and going 8-16 from the fIeld, 2-5 from three. DeJuan Harris also shined, playing 26 minutes and racking up five assists with four steals.
Kansas now improves to 2-1 with a bragging-rights win over one of the nation's other blue blood programs. They have a quick turnaround now before an odd game against division two Washburn that actualy will count as a D1 contest for the Jayhawks. That game takes place Thursday night at 6 in Lawrence.