Courtesy of Kansas Athletics
NEW YORK – Led by a career-high 29 points from senior Ochai Agbaji, the Kansas Jayhawks ran away from the Michigan State Spartans in the State Farm Champions Classic on Tuesday, winning 87-74 at Madison Square Garden.
The Jayhawks (1-0, 0-0 Big 12) improve to 6-5 in the Champions Classic all-time, winning five of their last six in the event including their second-straight win. The Jayhawks improve to 8-7 all-time against Michigan State, including their third-straight win.
Agbaji had a game-high 29 points on 9-of-17 from the field, guiding the Jayhawks to 48 percent (31-of-64) from the field. Kansas forced Michigan State into 16 turnovers, scoring 40 points in the paint.
Agbaji was joined in double-figures by Remy Martin (15 points) and David McCormack (10 points). Christian Braun led the Jayhawks with eight rebounds, while DaJuan Harris led with four assists.
It was a back-and-forth first half that saw 10 lead changes between the Jayhawks and Spartans, with Agbaji leading the charge with a game-high 12 points. The Jayhawks found valuable contributions from freshmen Zach Clemence (7 pts.) and Bobby Pettiford Jr. (3 pts.) in the first half.
Out of the break, Kansas found its stride and pulled away from the Spartans, led by Agbaji. The product of Kansas City, Missouri, reached his career-high of 29 points in the second half, while the Jayhawks pulled away by as many as 16 points with 6:06 remaining in the second half. The Jayhawks outscored the Spartans 48-42 in the second half, leading to their 87-74 victory.
Kansas will return home for a pair of home games against Tarleton State on November 12, followed by hosting Stony Brook to Allen Fieldhouse on November 18. The Jayhawks will then hit the road for the ESPN Events Invitational in Orlando, Florida November 25-28.