CHICAGO — Hunter Dickinson had 27 points and 21 rebounds, and No. 1 Kansas outlasted No. 17 Kentucky for an 89-84 victory in the Champions Classic on Tuesday night.
Dajuan Harris Jr. added 23 points for the Jayhawks, who trailed by as many as 14 in the second half. KJ Adams Jr. scored 16 points, and Kevin McCullar Jr. finished with 12 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.
Kansas (3-0) closed the game with an 11-1 run. Harris opened the decisive stretch with a 3-pointer and two foul shots. Dickinson then put the Jayhawks in front for good with two free throws that made it 85-83 with 2:04 to go.
Kentucky (2-1) had a couple chances to tie the game in the final 1:02, but it came up empty each time. After Reed Sheppard missed a 3 with 6 seconds left, Jamari McDowell made two foul shots to help close it out for the Jayhawks.
Antonio Reeves scored 24 points for Kentucky, but he went 3 for 17 from 3-point range. Adou Thiero finished with 16 points and 13 boards.
Rob Dillingham, part of another stellar group of freshmen for the Wildcats, scored 16 of his 18 points in the first half. He was whistled for his fourth foul midway through the second half and eventually fouled out.
It was Kansas’ first game in Chicago since it stopped in the Windy City on its way to the 2022 NCAA championship. The Jayhawks beat Miami 76-50 in the Midwest Region final at the United Center that year.
Kansas had a 25-21 lead before Dillingham began to take over. The flashy freshman made 3-pointers on four straight Kentucky possessions and then dished to Reeves for another 3, giving the Wildcats a 36-30 lead with 4:37 left in the first half.
The Jayhawks were staring at a double-digit halftime deficit before Dickinson hit two foul shots and a 3, making it 48-41 at the break. Dickinson had 13 points and 10 rebounds in the first half.
Kansas: Plays Chaminade in the opening round of the Maui Invitational on Monday night.
Kentucky: Hosts Stonehill on Friday night.
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