UK Men's Basketball

Kansas tops Kentucky in overtime, 90-84

John Calipari after loss at Kansas

Kentucky coach John Calipari talks about UK's 90-84 overtime loss at Kansas.
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Kentucky coach John Calipari talks about UK's 90-84 overtime loss at Kansas.

Kentucky came to Kansas with the opportunity to validate its recent uptick. By winning Saturday night at storied Allen Fieldhouse, where Coach Bill Self had a 200-9 record, who could question UK’s basketball credibility?

Tyler Ulis, a player whose worthiness no sane person can question, scored a career-high 26 points in leading Kentucky. But, proving he’s only human, Ulis committed costly turnovers down the stretch.

With a full house roaring its approval, Kansas won 90-84 in overtime.

Questions about how to interpret the three-game winning streak Kentucky brought to Kansas involved the competition. The victories came against three teams — Arkansas, Vanderbilt and Missouri — with an average Ratings Percentage Index of 105.7.

“We’ve got some fighters,” Alex Poythress said. “There’s no such thing as moral victories. But everybody fought from top to bottom.”

UK Coach John Calipari did not question the effort or the fight. But he lamented his team’s inability to win a game it led most of the way.

“I have to do a better job of teaching these guys how to win,” Calipari said. “That’s on me.”

Surely, Kansas restored its self-esteem after the humiliating loss to Kentucky last season.

The business of winning the game came down to the final minute of regulation and beyond.

Wayne Selden, Jr., led Kansas in overtime and to victory. His career-high 33-point night included six of Kansas’ first seven points in the extra period. His driving dunk with 3:10 left gave Kansas the lead for good at 80-78. The basket also marked the 1,000th point of his college career.

Calipari used Selden’s big night as Exhibit A of Kentucky’s struggles closing out games.

“We were playing Selden no-catch,” Calipari said, meaning denying him the ball. “What?!” Calipari added as if speaking in the voice of a fan. “No-catch?! You left him open!’”

To which, Calipari added in a soft voice, “I know.”

Selden took a career-high 20 shots, and made a career-high 12.

Kentucky, which fell to 16-5, scored only one basket in overtime — a jumper from the elbow by Skal Labissiere — until two meaningless field goals in the final 16 seconds.

Except for Selden’s dunk, Kansas scored all its overtime points on free throws.

Until the deciding overtime, both teams staked a claim on the victory.

Poythress gave UK a 74-72 lead with 1:10 left. He drove with authority along the baseline and dunked.

But Selden countered with a three-pointer to put Kansas ahead 75-74 with 49.2 seconds left.

After a timeout, Jamal Murray hit a pull-up jumper to put UK ahead 76-75 with 30.9 seconds left.

Kansas mapped its strategy with 19.7 seconds left. The Jayhawks had to settle for free throws. Perry Ellis, a 77.1-percent free thrower, made one of two with nine seconds left to tie it.

A Ulis turnover, only his second, killed Kentucky’s chances of winning it in regulation. He drove and appeared to think Jamal Murray would be cutting to the corner from the left wing. Murray stayed put as the Ulis pass went out of bounds.

“I didn’t have many openings,” Ulis said. “(I) forced a few things late. (I) should have given the ball up.”

Although only 2.2 seconds remained, Kansas nearly won it in regulation. Frank Mason III heaved a shot from beyond half court that bounced off the back of the rim. The crowd gasped at what might have been. Calipari smiled.

A simply brilliant stretch of two-way basketball by Ulis gave Kentucky a 46-40 halftime lead.

Again and again, on offense and defense, Ulis imposed his will on Kansas and the game.

In the final 7:54 of the half, Ulis scored 12 of his 14 first-half points. He also assisted on two other baskets, meaning he had a direct hand in 16 of Kentucky’s 23 points over a seven-minute stretch.

Then, as if needing to punctuate the performance, Ulis stripped the ball from a driving Brannen Greene, then alertly fed a pass upcourt to a fast-breaking Jamal Murray. Murray went on to a layup to give Kentucky its six-point margin at intermission.

UK’s three star guards scored 30 points in the first half. That offset Kansas’ 15-2 advantage in points from the bench.

Kentucky had only one offensive rebound in the first half. Then again, there were not that many opportunities with the Cats making 63 percent of their shots. Ulis made six of eight.

Poythress made all four of his shots, three of which were set up by Ulis passes.

With continuing assistance from Murray and Briscoe, Ulis kept UK ahead into the second half. His floater on the first possession put the Cats ahead 48-40.

Not that anyone thought otherwise, but Kansas did not go away. Back-to-back drives b y Selden reduced UK’s lead to 57-53 and prompted a timeout with 12:46 left.

Neither team led by more than six thereafter.

With the fouls mounting, Kentucky stayed ahead. But a three-pointer by Frank Mason III with four minutes left put Kansas ahead 69-68. It was the Jayhawks’ first lead since the 2:24 mark of the first half.

The lead seesawed back and forth to the end.

No. 4 KANSAS 90,

No. 20 KENTUCKY 84 (OT)

KENTUCKY

Min

FG-A

FT-A

R

A

PF

PT

Poythress

37

5-8

2-2

8

1

5

13

Willis

23

2-5

1-2

5

0

5

6

Briscoe

38

3-9

6-12

4

5

4

12

Murray

39

6-11

1-2

6

0

3

15

Ulis

45

11-19

3-4

2

8

2

26

Lee

12

2-2

0-0

3

0

5

4

Labissiere

14

2-3

0-0

0

0

5

4

Hawkins

15

2-5

0-0

1

1

4

4

Matthews

2

0-0

0-0

0

0

0

0

Totals

225

33-62

13-22

31

15

33

84

Percentages: FG .532, FT .591. Three-point goals: 5-23, .217 (Murray 2-7, Poythress 1-2, Willis 1-4, Ulis 1-6, Briscoe 0-1, Hawkins 0-3). Team rebounds: 2. Blocked shots: 6 (Lee 2, Murray, Labissiere, Poythress, Briscoe). Turnovers: 16 (Poythress 3, Ulis 3, Briscoe 3, Murray 3, Labissiere, Willis, Lee). Steals: 10 (Willis 3, Ulis 3, Poythress 2, Murray, Hawkins). Technical fouls: Briscoe.

KANSAS

Min

FG-A

FT-A

R

A

PF

PT

Lucas

13

0-1

3-6

3

0

4

3

Ellis

31

1-4

8-13

9

1

3

10

Mason III

42

3-11

5-6

8

4

3

13

Selden Jr

44

12-20

6-8

3

0

0

33

Graham

37

3-9

3-6

1

5

3

11

Vick

2

0-1

0-0

0

0

1

0

Diallo

10

1-1

0-2

3

0

1

2

Greene

10

1-2

4-4

4

1

1

7

Bragg Jr

11

3-5

0-0

2

0

2

6

Traylor

25

2-2

1-2

5

2

2

5

Totals

225

26-56

30-47

42

13

20

90

Percentages: FG .464, FT .638. Three-point goals: 8-17, .471 (Selden Jr. 3-5, Mason III 2-4, Graham 2-5, Greene 1-2, Vick 0-1). Team rebounds: 4. Blocked shots: 1 (Traylor). Turnovers: 15 (Mason III 3, Ellis 2, Traylor 2, Selden Jr. 2, Greene 2, Diallo, Graham, Bragg Jr., Lucas). Steals: 5 (Mason III 2, Selden Jr. 2, Traylor). Technical fouls: None.

Kentucky

46

30

8

84

Kansas

40

36

14

90

A—NA. Officials—Mark Whitehead, Pat Adams, Doug Sirmons.

Next game

Kentucky at Tennessee

7 p.m. Tuesday (ESPN)

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