Courtesy of Kansas Athletics
LAWRENCE, Kan. – In a meeting between the two most winningest college basketball programs in history, the No. 5 Kansas Jayhawks fell to the No. 12 Kentucky Wildcats, 80-62 in the Big 12/SEC Challenge inside Allen Fieldhouse on Saturday.
The loss drops the Jayhawks to 17-3 (6-1 Big 12) on the season, while Kentucky improves to 17-4 (6-2 SEC). The Jayhawks fall to 5-4 in the Big 12/SEC challenge, including 2-2 against Kentucky, since the creation of the Big 12/SEC Challenge in 2013-14.
Kentucky was led by 27 points from junior forward Keion Brooks Jr., who shot 9-of-16 from the floor while grabbing eight rebounds. The Wildcats shot 50.8 percent (31-of-61) from the field in the game and won the rebounding battle, 41-29, which resulted in 17 Wildcat second chance points.
Kansas scoring in double figures for the 20th time this season, Kansas senior Ochai Agbaji scored 13 points paired with 13 points from junior guard Christian Braun. The Jayhawks shot 40.7 percent (24-of-59) from the field in the game.
Kentucky took the early advantage behind an 8-0 run to lead the Jayhawks 10-5, which helped propel the Wildcats to a strong first half shooting at 61.8 percent (21-of-34). Kentucky’s hot shooting and tempo gave them a 20-point lead at the end of the half, leading 51-31.
In the second half, Kansas trimmed into the Kentucky lead on a 7-0 run over 2:24 to bring the score to 62-48 with 13:09 to go in the half. The Jayhawk momentum wasn’t enough, as Kentucky was able to extend its lead back to 21 points with 5:59 remaining.
Kentucky ultimately finished down the stretch to defeat the Jayhawks, 80-62. The Jayhawks finished off the month of January with a 7-2 record.
The Jayhawks will return to Big 12 Conference play on Tuesday, February 2, as they travel to Ames, Iowa, to take on the Iowa State Cyclones at 6 p.m. on ESPN.