PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas — Winning ugly is nothing that Kansas coach Bill Self will complain about.
In fact, there’s times he finds it downright satisfying.
Like Thursday, for instance, when Andrew Wiggins was slowed by the flu, when the second-ranked Jayhawks used reserves more than starters in the second half and when the hottest scorer on the court happened to be wearing a Wake Forest uniform. No problem – Self was all smiles afterward, because above all else, a win always beats the alternative.
Wiggins scored 12 of his 17 points in the final 5:53, and Kansas held off previously unbeaten Wake Forest 87-78 in the quarterfinals of the Battle 4 Atlantis.
A pair of reserves, Frank Mason and Joel Embiid, combined for 23 more points for the Jayhawks (5-0), who will face Villanova in the semifinals tonight.
“I’ve always taken great pride in winning ugly,” Self said. “I think it’s good to win ugly. I’d rather win pretty, but there’s nothing wrong with winning ugly. The thing about it that’s frustrating to me, and I think these guys will probably agree, we’ve always been a team that won ugly by not allowing the other team to score.”
GEORGE WASHINGTON 71,
MIAMI (FLA.) 63 (OT)
In Fullerton, Calif., Joe McDonald hit a game-tying layup with three seconds remaining to help George Washington avoid a collapse, and the Colonials (5-0) beat Miami (3-3) in overtime in the Wooden Legacy.
McDonald’s layup tied the game at 59 after George Washington had blown a double-digit lead, and the Colonials opened the extra period on a 12-2 run to secure the win and extend their best start in four years.
Garrius Adams scored a game-high 17 points for Miami.
LOUISIANA STATE 82, SAINT JOSEPH’S 65
In Orlando, Fla., Andre Stringer scored 18 points to lead four players in double figures as Louisiana State (4-1) Saint Joseph’s (2-2) in the Old Spice Classic.
Jarell Martin added 15 points, Jordan Mickey 14 and Johnny O’Bryant III 11. Mickey also had 10 rebounds for the Tigers.