National Basketball Association
Kentucky 69, Michigan St 48
When: 7:00 PM ET, Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Where: Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
# Doug Shows, # Gene Steratore, # Terry Oglesby
NEW YORK -- Kentucky's kids are alright.
Facing an early-season challenge against No. 13 Michigan State in the opener of the Champions Classic at Madison Square Garden, the young No. 2 Wildcats, led by freshman Malik Monk's 23 points, knocked off the Spartans 69-48 on Tuesday.
Sophomore Isaiah Briscoe added 21 points, freshman forward De'Aaron Fox contributed 12 points and five assists and freshman forward 'Bam' Adebayo added six points and five rebounds for the Wildcats (3-0).
Kentucky's freshmen accounted for 43 points.
"They're not ordinary freshmen," said Briscoe of his younger teammates. "They pick up things fast. They listen, they know how to play basketball and we don't really run a lot of plays and that's big.
"This is a big win for us. It's tough to play at the Garden the third game of the season with freshmen but they played well, they performed well and we came out with the win."
The Spartans (0-2) had won four of the last five meetings against Kentucky.
The second game featured No.1 Duke against No.7 Kansas.
Michigan State and Kentucky have four of the top six recruiting classes this season, and eight of the nation's top 10 recruits. The Spartans' star freshman, guard Miles Bridges, didn't fare as well as Kentucky's heralded group.
After scoring 21 points in his debut against No. 10 Arizona, Bridges looked out of sync against his quicker counterparts, scoring only six points on 2-of-10 shooting while committing nine turnovers. He grabbed 11 rebounds.
Kenny Goins and Cassius Winston led the Spartans with just nine points each. Michigan State shot just 32 percent from the floor, made only 5 of 26 3-pointers and committed 21 turnovers.
"Well, I'm actually embarrassed," admitted Michigan State coach Tom Izzo. "I felt we competed defensively for the most part, we just didn't do anything offensively. We looked like an AAU team.
"We just went one-on-one, didn't move the ball, got frustrated. I think this is one of his (Kentucky coach John Calipari) better defensive teams."
The Wildcats made their most significant run of the game, going on a 13-2 tear to pull away to a 60-38 lead with 7:01 to play. Fox contributed six points in the outburst.
A 9-2 run from Kentucky in the first five minutes of the second gave moved the lead to 45-31, their largest to that point. Briscoe scored five points in the sequence and Monk sank his fifth trey of the game.
"He (Monk) had an unbelievable shoot-around today," said Kentucky coach John Calipari. "I've done this 30 years, there were two other players on the team that had so-so shoot-arounds and guess what --they had so-so games and those are great lessons."
"Malik Monk had one of the best shoot-arounds of any players I had in the past few years and I expected he would go and play well."
Monk poured in 14 points, 12 of which came via the 3-pointer, to help the Wildcats to a 34-26 lead at the half. Both teams shot 36 percent from the floor and combined for 17 fouls in the stop-and-go half.
The Wildcats scored the 34 points in 38 possessions.
Matt McQuade's 3-pointer for Michigan State tied it at 12 before the Wildcats used a 14-2 run over the next seven minutes to move ahead 26-14, their largest lead of the half, with 6:12 left. Monk drained two 3-pointers in the spurt.
Michigan State held the lead for only 1:41 in the first half.
NOTES: Both teams combined for 36 fouls. ... Kentucky G De'Aaron Fox was named the SEC's Freshman of the Week. It's the third straight season a Kentucky freshman has earned the honor in the first week of the season. ... Michigan State will travel more than 13,600 miles in 22 days in November, including trips to the Bahamas and Hawaii. ... Michigan State is the only school in the country with 27 or more wins in each of the last five seasons. ... Since the 1997-98 season the Spartans have played 206 games against ranked opponents. ... Kentucky and Michigan State have faced each other four times in the NCAA Tournament and each time with a berth in the Final Four at stake. The Spartans won three times.
Top Game Performances
Malik Monk 23
Kenny Goins 9
De'Aaron Fox 6
Matt McQuaid 2
Wenyen Gabriel 6
Miles Bridges 12
De'Aaron Fox 6
||Free Throws Made
Miles Bridges 1
Wenyen Gabriel 3
Edrice Adebayo 2
Miles Bridges 3
Team Stats Summary