PJ Washington scored 14 of his 20 points in the second half, and No. 8 Kentucky beat No. 9 Kansas 71-63 on Saturday in the SEC-Big 12 Challenge.
Washington also had 13 rebounds, helping the Wildcats to a 49-36 advantage on the glass. Reid Travis had 18 points and 12 boards, and Keldon Johnson also posted a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
Neither team reached 40 percent shooting, but the Wildcats (16-3) were much better in the second half and held the Jayhawks in check down the stretch of the marquee matchup between college basketball’s two winningest programs.
Kentucky had dropped its last three games against Kansas.
Dedric Lawson had 20 points and 15 rebounds for the Jayhawks, and Quentin Grimes added 13 points. It was Lawson’s 14th double-double this season.
Kansas shot 37 percent (23 for 63) from the field in its second loss in three games.
Kentucky could rise in the AP poll after beating its third ranked opponent in a week. Kansas could tumble out of the top 10 with its recent trouble.
Kansas: Lawson had a double-double by halftime, and the Jayhawks held their own on the glass for one half. They finished 9 of 23 from behind the arc but couldn’t match Kentucky’s athleticism in the second half.
Kentucky: The Wildcats still have their share of challenges ahead when Southeastern Conference play resumes next week, but they are coming along. Travis got off to a nice start, and his teammates picked up their play in the second half.
Kansas returns to Big 12 play on Tuesday at Texas, seeking a season sweep of the Longhorns. The Jayhawks won the previous meeting 80-78 on Jan. 14.
Kentucky returns to SEC competition at Vanderbilt on Tuesday after beating the Commodores 56-47 two weeks ago.