Rapid Reaction: Kentucky 75, Kansas 65
November, 16, 2011
By Kieran Darcy | ESPN.com
NEW YORK -- A quick take on No. 2 Kentucky's 75-65 win over No. 11 Kansas in the second game of the Champions Classic at Madison Square Garden.
What it means: In a battle of two of the most storied programs in college basketball, the Wildcats prevail over the Jayhawks to improve to 2-0 on the season. Kansas drops to 1-1. A very young Kentucky team puts on an impressive show in front of a national television audience.
The skinny: This game started out like the first game of the evening, Duke versus Michigan State, with a tight first half. Both teams shot less than 41 percent from the field. Both teams had problems taking care of the ball -- Kentucky had 12 first-half turnovers, Kansas had 10. The game was tied 28-28 at intermission.
Then, just like Duke in Game 1, Kentucky opened up the second half with a big run -- in the Wildcats' case, an 11-0 run to go up 41-30. Kentucky led by as many as 17 in the second half, and never let Kansas get within striking distance once they surged ahead.
From downtown: Kentucky shot just 1-for-6 from 3-point range in the first half, but was a sparkling 6-for-9 in the second half. Sophomore guard Doron Lamb, a Queens native, knocked down three of them in a short time span when the Wildcats were extending their lead. He finished with a team-high 17 points -- one of five Kentucky players in double figures. The others were sophomore Terrence Jones (15 points), and freshmen Anthony Davis (14 points, six blocked shots), Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (12 points) and Marquis Teague (12 points).
In a losing cause: Senior Tyshawn Taylor, who played for Bob Hurley at nearby St. Anthony High School in Jersey City, led the Jayhawks with 22 points. Taylor shot just 3-for-13 from the field, but made 15 of 17 from the foul line. As a team, Kansas shot just 20-for-59 from the field (33.9 percent), and 4-for-15 on 3-pointers. The Jayhawks also had 11 shots blocked.
What's next: Kentucky will play Penn State in Uncasville, Conn., on Saturday as part of the Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off. Kansas faces Georgetown next Monday in Hawaii, as part of the Maui Invitational.