Brooks scores 27, No. 12 Kentucky beats No. 5 Kansas


By David Smale - Associated Press



Kentucky guard Kellan Grady (31) blocks a pass intended for Kansas forward Mitch Lightfoot (44) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 29, 2022, in Lawrence, Kan. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Kentucky guard Kellan Grady (31) blocks a pass intended for Kansas forward Mitch Lightfoot (44) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 29, 2022, in Lawrence, Kan. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)


Kansas forward Mitch Lightfoot (44) shoots under pressure from Kentucky forward Lance Ware (55) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 29, 2022, in Lawrence, Kan. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)


Kansas guard Remy Martin (11) is pressured by Kentucky guard Sahvir Wheeler (2) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 29, 2022, in Lawrence, Kan. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)


LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Keion Brooks scored 27 points as No. 12 Kentucky manhandled No. 5 Kansas 80-62 on Saturday night.

The Wildcats grabbed a big halftime lead in Allen Fieldhouse and cruised to improve to 24-10 all-time in the series. Kansas had won four of the past five coming in. The last Kentucky win in Allen Fieldhouse was in 1985.

Oscar Tshiebwe had a double-double with 17 points and 14 rebounds for Kentucky (17-4), which also got 12 points from Kellan Grady and 11 from Jacob Toppin.

Kansas (17-3) was led by Ochai Agbaji, who had 13 points, 10 in the second half. But the two-time reigning Big 12 Player of the Week was held well below his Big 12-leading 21.3 points per game. Christian Braun also had 13 points.

Kentucky dominated the boards, owning a 41-29 rebounding edge, including 12-7 on the offensive end.

Kansas coach Bill Self kept searching for combinations that would allow his team to get back in the game, but that search turned up empty. Kansas used a 7-0 run to cut the deficit to 62-48 early in the second half when Kentucky missed seven straight shots, but the Jayhawks never got any closer.

Kentucky used an 8-0 run early to grab the lead and then held Kansas at bay. Kentucky led by 12 at the 10:29 mark, with their points spread among seven different players. More telling, the Wildcats held a 13-4 advantage on the boards.

The Kentucky lead grew to as many as 20 when Kellan Grady hit a 3-pointer with 2:31 left in the half and the Wildcats led 51-31 at the break, Kansas’ largest halftime deficit of the season. They trailed Kansas State by 16 a week earlier but rallied for a 78-75 win.

Kentucky shot 61.8% (21 of 34) in the first half, while Kansas was just 13 of 33 (39.4%) and Agbaji was held to just three points.

BIG PICTURE

Kentucky: The Wildcats extended their slim lead in all-time NCAA wins to four (2,344-2,340) over Kansas. These are the two winningest programs in college basketball history. Kansas has gained 15 wins in the last two full seasons.

Kansas: A lack of quality big men doomed the Jayhawks. David McCormack and Mitch Lightfoot combined for just 9 points and 8 rebounds.

UP NEXT

Kentucky returns to SEC play, where their 6-2 record is two games behind Auburn. The Wildcats will host Vanderbilt on Wednesday.

Kansas, which stands at 6-1 in the Big 12, will return to conference play at No. 23 Iowa State on Tuesday.

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Kentucky guard Kellan Grady (31) blocks a pass intended for Kansas forward Mitch Lightfoot (44) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 29, 2022, in Lawrence, Kan. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
https://www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/28/2022/01/web1_128081319-3c3ac694731a4127825e7ac51c0748d1.jpgKentucky guard Kellan Grady (31) blocks a pass intended for Kansas forward Mitch Lightfoot (44) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 29, 2022, in Lawrence, Kan. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Kansas forward Mitch Lightfoot (44) shoots under pressure from Kentucky forward Lance Ware (55) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 29, 2022, in Lawrence, Kan. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
https://www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/28/2022/01/web1_128081319-3e702fa05b8643788350e0fb1b5b9afb.jpgKansas forward Mitch Lightfoot (44) shoots under pressure from Kentucky forward Lance Ware (55) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 29, 2022, in Lawrence, Kan. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Kansas guard Remy Martin (11) is pressured by Kentucky guard Sahvir Wheeler (2) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 29, 2022, in Lawrence, Kan. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
https://www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/28/2022/01/web1_128081319-97f4dca381e447cf99258bf7f40c05f7.jpgKansas guard Remy Martin (11) is pressured by Kentucky guard Sahvir Wheeler (2) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 29, 2022, in Lawrence, Kan. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

By David Smale

Associated Press