LEXINGTON, Ky. – #8 Kentucky was able to use a big second half and double-double’s from three players to beat #9 Kansas 71-63 in Rupp Arena on Saturday.
They struggled offensively early but it was tied at 4-4 early when Nick Richards got a block that led to a Tyler Herro lay-up. UK would take the two point lead. However the Wildcats would go on a more than 4 minute scoring drought and the Jayhawks would take a 16-6 lead.
Reid Travis started the comeback with his first bucket as he was fouled of the half. A steal would lead to a P.J. Washington lay-up and Travis would get another and one to cut the deficit to 18-15.
Travis wasn’t finished by scoring two more times while getting fouled. The fourth time in the half cut the Kansas lead to 27-24. Washington scored on a baseline dunk and Keldon Johnson in transition.
UK would trail 33-30 at the half despite they were just 13-39 and 0-8 from three point range. Travis leads the way with 12 points and 6 rebounds.
Kentucky came out ready in the second half. Washington hit a hook shot in the lane, and then Tyler Herro missed a shot but P.J. got the rebound and Keldon Johnson hit a three to give UK a 35-33 advantage. After falling behind two again, Herro hit a lay-in, Johnson hit two free throws and Travis got a putback to put the Wildcats in front 41-37.
Ashton Hagans would hit a three as the shot clock was about to expire to give UK a 44-39 lead. Then, after Kansas tied it at 44, Washington hit a free throw, missed the second but got it back for a lay-in. Johnson followed that up with a three pointer to give UK a 50-44 lead.
Travis had another tough take for a lay-in to give UK a 52-44 lead. Washington had a slam to help put it away as Kentucky knocks off Kansas ___ .
Travis, Washington and Johnson led the way with double-doubles. Washington had 20 points, 13 rebounds while Reid had 18 points, 12 rebounds and Johnson had 15 points, 10 rebounds. That’s the first time that’s happened since DeMarcus Cousins, John Wall and Patrick Patterson did it in the 2009-’10 season.
Kentucky is on the road next game to face Vanderbilt Saturday at 9:00 on ESPN. The two teams met on January 12th in Rupp with UK winning that one 56-47.