Freshman Tyrese Maxey scored 26 points, including a contested 3-pointer with a minute remaining, to help No. 2 Kentucky knock off No. 1 Michigan State 69-62 Tuesday in the Champions Classic at Madison Square Garden.
Maxey was 3 of 8 from 3-point range as Kentucky (1-0) was just 6 of 18 from 3-point range. Ashton Hagans scored 11 for the Wildcats and Immanuel Quickley added 10 points.
Cassius Winston scored 21 for Michigan State (0-1). The Spartans were just 5 of 26 from 3-point range.
Kentucky took control late in the first half, closing with an 11-2 run as Michigan State failed to score a basket for the final 6:14. The Wildcats did most of their first-half damage at the free-throw line, going 16 of 20 as Michigan State was called for 15 fouls.
The frequent whistles left the Spartans going deep into their bench as six players were called for at least two fouls, including the entire starting lineup. Aaron Henry played only 2:39 and Michigan State was forced to use 12 players, including walk-on Jack Hoiberg late in the half to keep Winston from getting a third foul in the final seconds of the half.
Michigan State opened the second half with an 8-2 run to jump back in the game even as the fouls continued to mount. The Spartans got within 45-41 before Winston missed a trey then fouled Quickley on a 3-pointer to spark a nine-point surge for Kentucky that pushed the Wildcats’ lead to 54-41 with just less than 10 minutes to play.
The Spartans responded by scoring the next seven points to pull within 54-48 with 8:19 to play and eventually pulled within 56-53 with six minutes to remaining. But Kentucky took advantage of two straight turnovers to extend the lead to 60-53 before a Henry triple with just more than four minutes to play.
Michigan State pulled within 62-60 on a three-point play from Winston with 1:27 to play before Maxey’s 3-pointer secured the victory for the Wildcats.
–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)