Sidelines with John Clay

Liveblog: Kentucky 71, Kansas 63

Two of college basketball’s most tradition-rich programs face off Saturday at Rupp Arena when No. 8 Kentucky meets No. 9 Kansas in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge.

We will be live above Cawood’s Court providing updates and analysis. Follow us on Twitter at @johnclayiv, @jerrytipton, @benrobertshl, @markcstory, @alexslitzphoto and @kentuckysports. Scroll down for a dedicated Twitter list.


Officials: Joe Lindsay, Keith Kimball and Todd Austin are the officials for UK-Kansas.

Trends: Kansas has won three straight over Kentucky, including two straight in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge. This season, Kentucky is on a five-game winning streak. Kansas last last Saturday at West Virginia 65-64, but bounced back to beat Iowa State 80-76 on Monday night at Allen Fieldhous.e The Jayhawks had lost earlier in the season to the Cyclones in Ames.

Starters: UK starting Ashton Hagans, Tyler Herro, Keldon Johnson, Reid Travis and PJ Washington. Kansas is starting LaGerald Vick, Devon Dotson, Quentin Grimes, Marcus Garrett and Dedric Lawson.

First half

Tied 4-4 (15:36) - Kentucky off to a cold start from the floor, hitting just two of its first nine shots. Kansas not much better at two-for-seven. UK’s Reid Travis opened up guarding Lawson, who missed his first two shots. Nick Richards was subbed in fro Travis. UK’s baskets have come from PJ Washinton and Keldon Johnson, who fought for a rebound before scoring.

Kansas 9, Kentucky 6 (11:43) - Ochai Agbaji nailed a three from the left corner, after UK fans thought Lawson had charged while making the pass. Agbaji was going to redshirt until six games ago when Udoka Azubuike was lost for the season with a torn ligament in his hand. Kansas coach Bill Self met with Agbaji, a freshman from Kansas City, who agreed to shed the redshirt and play. Kentucky has missed 11 of its first 14 shots.

Kansas 18, Kentucky 15 (7:25) - Reid Travis is bringing the Cats back. The grad senior, who scored 29 points in a game against Kansas while at Stanford, has been fighting on the boards and scoring underneath while being fouled. KU had pushed its lead to 16-6 when Calipari called time at the 10:25 mark. After that, UK outscored the Jayhawks 9-2.

Kansas 23, Kentucky 21 (5:02) - Bill Self calls time after another Kansas turnover. Reid Travis has nine points to lead the Cats.

Kansas 27, Kentucky 23 (3:08) - Travis scores again while being fouled again just before the TV timeout. He’s missed the free throw on two earlier opportunities to convert three-point plays. Can’t argue with his effort, however. You can argue with UK’s shooting. The Cats are 11-of-33 for 33.3 percent. Kansas is 12-of-29 for 41.4 percent.

Halftime: Kansas 33, Kentucky 30 - Kansas led by as many 10 points in the first half. Reid Travis had 12 points and six rebounds in first half. PJ Washington grabbed nine rebounds. Dedric Lawson led Kansas with 11 points, and several of those came with Travis out of the game. Tyler Herro and Keldon Johnson had just four points each in the first half. But then the home team shot just 33.3 percent. Kansas shot just 36.1 percet. Coming into game, kenpom ranked Kansas as the nation’s 10th best defense, with Kentucky at No. 11. For UK to win, need more from the wings in the second half. Cats were 0-for-8 from three-point range in first half.

Halftime box

Second half

Kentucky 41, Kansas 37 (16:12) - After going 0-for-8 from three in the first half, UK finally gets a three-pointer to go down when Keldon Johnson nails one from the corner to put the Cats up 35-33. Herro scored on a drive. Johnson made two free throws. Travis grabbed a rebound and scored to make it a four-point lead and Bill Self asked for time with 16:12 left in the game. Cats have made four of seven shots this half.

Y note: Rick Robey was the Y in the Kentucky cheer at the 15:37 TV timeout. Robey was a key player on the 1978 UK national title team.

Kentucky 50, Kansas 44 (11:28) - Keldon Johnson buries a three from the right corner to give the Cats a six-point lead and Self calls time. Earlier, Hagans hit a three from that corner with the shot clock ticking down. Before that shot, the freshman was two-of-15 from three-point range. Cats have made three of six from beyond the arc so far this half. By the way Travis picked up his third foul at the 15:31 mark and went to the bench.

Kentucky 52, Kansas 46 (7:53) - UK is 8-of-20 from the floor this half for 40 percent. Kansas is 5-of-17 this half for 29.4 percent. John Calipari’s club has a 43-33 edge on the boards. Washington has 12 rebounds. Travis has 11.

Kentucky 59, Kansas 52 (3:40) - Final TV timeout. Before play stopped. Washington slammed home a perfect pass from Herro off the pick-and-roll. Kentucky’s defense has been excellent this half. Kansas came into game shooting 48 percent from the floor. Jayhawks are currently at 35.1. With UK holding an advantage on the boards, Self has put in freshman center David McCormack, who is averaging just 6.6 minutes per game.

Kentucky 64, Kansas 57 (1:15) - LaGerald Vick hits a three and Kansas calls time. Vick had just four points in 34 minutes before making that shot. He’s been a no-sho. Before that, Lawson picked up a flagrant-1 foul on Travis, who made both foul shots.

Final: Kentucky 71, Kansas 63 - PJ Washington finished with 20 points, 13 rebounds. Reid Travis 18 points, 12 rebounds.

Final box

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