PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas (November 3) — Freshman guard Gradey scored a season-high 25 points as No. 3 Kansas held off North Carolina State for an 80-74 win in Wednesday’s opening round Battle 4 Atlantis 2022 game here in Nassau, Bahamas, on a day when head coach Bill Self return to the bench.
Gradey, who shot 7 of 17 from the field, collected 18 of his points from 3-point attempts after going 6 for 12 from long-range in the opening 20 minutes of the contest.
Jalen Wilson added 19 points and 11 rebounds, redshirt senior Dajuan Harris Jr. ended with 14 points, six assists and three steals, while fellow senior Kevin McCullar Jr. ended with 10 points and 11 rebounds for the defending national champion Jayhawks (5-0), who extended their winning streak to 16 straight games.
Casey Morsell scored 21 points and eight rebounds, while making 5 for 8 from 3-pointers to lead the way for NC State (4-1), which fellow to its first defeat of the season after winning the first four games to open the new season.
Terquavion Smith added 19 points and pair of block shots for the Wolfpack, while Jarkel Joiner finished with 17 points, seven rebounds, and two steals in the defeat. Read more: No. 10 Creighton beats No. 9 Arkansas 90-87 at Maui Jim Maui Invitational
Kansas led by eight points at halftime and had a nine-point second-half lead before NC States battled back to make the reigning champions fight for the win in the final minutes.
The game saw the return of Kansas head coach Bill Self after serving his institution’s imposed four-game suspension, along with his assistant Kurtis Townsend as part of the fallout from a pending NCAA infractions case tied to the federal investigation into corruption within the sport.
N.C. State will next face the loser of the Wisconsin vs Dayton game in Thursday’s consolation bracket, while the Jayhawks have advanced to Thursday’s semifinals to face the winner of the above game.
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