Kansas edges Kentucky in close affair

Nov 14, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Kansas Jayhawks guard Devonte' Graham (4) drives past Kentucky Wildcats guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (22) during the first half at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas Jayhawks defeated the Kentucky Wildcats, 65-61, on Tuesday night in Chicago at the State Farm Champions Classic. Kansas held on after the game was tied at 57 at the three-minute mark. It was a rough shooting night for the Jayhawks, but they forced 18 Kentucky turnovers to hold on for the victory.

Four different Jayhawks starters finished the game in double figures, led by senior guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, who finished the night with 17 points, knocking down three 3-pointers. Sophomore center Udoka Azubuike was a perfect 5-for-5 from the field, totaling 13 points and eight rebounds.

As a team, the Jayhawks shot just 35.3 percent from the field, including 28.6 percent (8-for-28) from 3-point range, but forced the young Wildcats into enough mistakes to capitalize and move to 2-0 on the season.

The Wildcats offense was largely a two-man show of freshmen Kevin Knox and Hamidou Diallo. Knox was the only Wildcat to hit a 3-point bucket, finishing the game with 20 points and seven rebounds, while Diallo pitched in 14 points, five rebounds, and four assists.

Off the bench, sophomore Sacha Killeya-Jones had a balanced night, contributing eight points and nine rebounds. Joining him was freshman Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who had six points and four rebounds, but also six of the 18 Kentucky turnovers.

Next up for the Jayhawks is a matchup at home against South Dakota State on Friday night. The Jackrabbits will enter play with a 3-0 record to start the year.

The Wildcats also get back into action on Friday night when they play host to the East Tennessee State Buccaneers.

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