LONDON (AP) — Cason Wallace scored 14 points and Oscar Tshiebwe had a double-double to lead No. 19 Kentucky over Michigan 73-69 on Sunday at the O2 Arena in a London showcase of two marquee American college sports teams.
Wallace was 4 of 4 on 3-point shooting with his most important one giving the Wildcats (6-2) a five-point lead with 1:11 to play.
Tshiebwe, last season’s consensus national player of the year, scored 13 points and pulled down 14 rebounds amid foul trouble that kept him on the bench for extended spells.
Hunter Dickinson led Michigan (5-3) with 23 points and nine rebounds. Jett Howard, Michigan’s second-leading scorer, was in early foul trouble but had 16 points for the Wolverines.
Howard picked up his second foul seven minutes into the game and sat on the bench for the rest of the half — and appeared to get a stern talking to from coach and dad Juwan Howard.
The Basketball Hall of Hame London Showcase gave fans in attendance an up-close look at a head-to-head battle of big-name big men: Tshiebwe and Dickinson.
The game was originally scheduled for 2020 but was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was the first regular-season game in Europe for both teams.
Both star big men had slow starts offensively. Dickinson’s first points came off a layup near the midway point of the first half. Tshiebwe missed four shots in a row at one point before finding his groove.
The Congolese star picked up two fouls toward the end of the half, though, the second one coming on the offense end when his left hand hit Dickinson’s face while he was posting up. Tshiebwe went to the bench with 11 points and 7 rebounds.
Kentucky earned its first win over a high-quality opponent — and its first victory away from Rupp Arena this season.
It was Michigan’s second consecutive loss to a ranked opponent. The Wolverines lost 70-68 to No. 3 Virginia 70-68 last Tuesday in Ann Arbor. Michigan guard Jaelin Llewellyn sustained a knee injury in the second half and was helped off the floor. The graduate transfer from Princeton appeared to hurt himself when he planted his left leg and rose for a shot.
Michigan opens conference play at Big Ten opponent Minnesota on Thursday.
Kentucky hosts Yale at Rupp Arena on Saturday.