No. 3 Kansas outlasts No. 7 Kentucky in ugly Champions Classic game

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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CHICAGO — Kansas used a late three-pointer from Malik Newman and some clutch free-throw shooting to outlast Kentucky, 65-61, on Tuesday night in a disjointed second game of the Champions Classic.

With both teams struggling to score in the half court for much of the night, Newman’s trey with 2:10 left proved to be a critical bucket for the No. 3 Jayhawks (2-0) as the redshirt sophomore also knocked down two important free throws late in the game. Svi Mykhailiuk paced the Jayhawks with 17 points to lead an ugly offensive effort while big man Udoka Azubuike tallied 13 points and eight rebounds on 5-for-5 shooting. Newman finished with 12 points.

Preseason All-American Devonte’ Graham had a sluggish 3-for-14 shooting night for Kansas but he iced the game with two free throws with 7.1 seconds left as he finished with 11 points and five assists.

The No. 7 Wildcats (2-1) had a solid effort from freshman Kevin Knox as the five-star wing looked like he was ready to play in a high-pressure game. Knox finished with a game-high 20 points as his perimeter shooting and ability to create his own shot were a bright spot for Kentucky.

Freshman guard Hamidou Diallo was the only other double-figure scorer for Kentucky as he ended with 14 points. Kentucky’s interior struggled much of the night as freshmen P.J. Washington and Nick Richards provided little-to-no help on either end of the floor.