No. 4 Kansas tops No. 7 UK

Yuma Sun - - SUN SPORTS -

CHICAGO — Svi Mykhail­iuk scored 17 points, and Devonte Graham hit the clinch­ing free throws to give No. 4 Kansas a 65-61 vic­tory over No. 7 Ken­tucky on Tues­day night that put coach Bill Self in a tie for sec­ond with Roy Wil­liams on the Jay­hawks’ all­time wins list.

In a game that matched the two win­ningest Di­vi­sion I pro­grams, the Jay­hawks (2-0) pre­vailed af­ter the two teams spent most of the sec­ond half trad­ing bas­kets and leads.

Ma­lik New­man had a key re­bound in the clos­ing sec­onds and hit two foul shots to help Kansas knock off the Wild­cats (2-1). The down-towire game capped a pow­er­house Cham­pi­ons Clas­sic dou­ble­header that started with No. 1 Duke beat­ing No. 2 Michi­gan State 88-81.

Mykhail­iuk hit three 3-point­ers. Udoka Azubuike scored 13. New­man scored 12 and Graham had 11, help­ing Self pick up his 418th win at Kansas to tie Wil­liams for sec­ond be­hind Phog Allen (519).

“We had al­ready dis­cussed in the hud­dle, we needed three stops,” New­man said. “I think that was like the sec­ond or third one, so I mean it was just all about get­ting stops like coach said and I mean we knew we couldn’t give up (any) sec­ond shots, so it was all out for all the re­bounds and just went af­ter it.”

Kevin Knox scored 20 and nailed three 3s for Ken­tucky (2-1). Hami­dou Diallo added 14 points. But the Wild­cats came up short af­ter ral­ly­ing to beat Utah Val­ley and hang­ing on for a four-point win against Ver­mont.

“We re­ally fought tonight. A lot of peo­ple had us los­ing this game at least by 20, 30 points,” Knox said. “But we said be­fore the game it wasn’t (go­ing to) hap­pen. They’re a veteran team. We’re a re­ally young team. A lot of peo­ple thought they had the ad­van­tage. But tonight we re­ally fought our butts off.”

Ken­tucky was lead­ing 57-55 when Nick Richards scored on a tip-in and Graham hit a free throw. New­man then hit a 3 to bump the Jay­hawks’ lead to 61-57 with just over two min­utes left. It was 61-59 when Ken­tucky’s PJ Wash­ing­ton blocked a 3 by Mykhail­iuk as the shot clock went off with 33 sec­onds left, giv­ing the Wild­cats a chance to tie or take the lead. But Knox missed a jumper along the base­line.

New­man grabbed the re­bound for Kansas and hit two free throws with 17 sec­onds left to make it 63-59.

Ken­tucky’s Sacha Kil­leya-Jones scored on a put­back with nine sec­onds left. But Graham made two foul shots with eight sec­onds re­main­ing to close things out.

PRE­STON OUT

Kansas held Billy Pre­ston out of the game be­cause he was in­volved in a sin­gle­car ac­ci­dent, an­other round of trou­ble for the fresh­man for­ward. Benched for the opener against Ten­nessee State be­cause he missed both cur­few and class, he found out just be­fore the pregame meal that he wasn’t play­ing against Ken­tucky, ei­ther. Coach Bill Self said in a state­ment that Pre­ston was in­volved in a “sin­gle-ve­hi­cle in­ci­dent” on cam­pus on Satur­day. He said no one was hurt, but Pre­ston’s car was dam­aged. Self said the ad­min­is­tra­tion “de­ter­mined that we needed a clearer fi­nan­cial pic­ture spe­cific to the ve­hi­cle” and that the 6-foot10 Pre­ston will re­main out “un­til the re­view is com­plete.”

BIG PIC­TURE

Ken­tucky: Though they’ve been shaky so far, the Wild­cats hung in against an­other pow­er­house.

Kansas: The Jay­hawks will take the win, though they’ll need to shoot bet­ter than this. They were 35.3 per­cent from the field and 8 of 28 on 3-point­ers.

UP NEXT

Ken­tucky: The sched­ule eases a bit for Ken­tucky, with a home game against East Ten­nessee State on Fri­day.

Kansas: The Jay­hawks meet South Dakota State to start a rather light stretch in the sched­ule on Fri­day. They close out the month against Texas South­ern, Oak­land and Toledo be­fore fac­ing Syra­cuse on Dec. 2.

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