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Jayhawks top Hoyas

12/22/2013

By DAVE SKRETTA

Associated Press

LAWRENCE -- Tarik Black never let his chin drop. He never quit working hard in practice. He never stopped making the rest of his Kansas teammates laugh until their stomachs hurt.

If anything, once he was relegated to the bench, Black did all of that stuff even better.

His positive attitude paid off on Saturday.

Black got a chance to play extended minutes for the first time in weeks against Georgetown, and the Memphis transfer responded by plowing through a physical bunch of Hoyas for 17 points in the 18th-ranked Jayhawks' 86-64 victory.

"Tarik was better today than at any point in time, but that's how he's been practicing every day," Kansas coach Bill Self said. "His attitude has been great."

Black had lost his starting job to freshman Joel Embiid, who also had 17 points against the Hoyas. But while he almost certainly won't win it back any time soon -- Embiid has been that good -- he at least gives Kansas two formidable post players capable of dominating a game.

"We can definitely do some damage on the inside," Black said.

Andrew Wiggins added 12 points and Naadir Tharpe had 10 for the Jayhawks (8-3), who pushed their non-conference home win streak to 67 games in Georgetown's first visit to Allen Fieldhouse.

The Hoyas (7-3) tried to use the kind of muscle that has suited them so well in the rough-and-tumble Big East, but all they did was get into debilitating foul trouble.

Markel Starks scored 19 points and D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera had 12, but they were forced to carry the burden almost entirely by themselves. Bruising big man Josh Smith, who had been averaging 14.1 points, scored just five before fouling out.

Moses Ayegba and Nate Lubick also fouled out for Georgetown.

"They did a good job of getting us in foul trouble," Hoyas coach John Thompson III said. "I think particularly Black played very well today. Whenever we felt like we were making a step toward cutting into the lead, he'd get a rebound or make a three-point play."

The game was so physical that Jayhawks forward Perry Ellis left early in the second half after taking an elbow to the back of his head. Ellis tried to stay in the game but missed a free throw so badly that he took himself out. He never returned from the locker room.

"If he had a concussion, it's very, very slight," Self said. "He did bruise the nerve in his neck, and that caused the problem. It's something he'll be able to come back from in a short time."

Just as every other team has done this season, Georgetown tried to combat the Jayhawks' length and athleticism by employing a zone defense in the first half. The only problem was the Hoyas were so mired in foul trouble that they didn't have anybody to occupy the inside.

Kansas built its 44-34 lead thanks in part to a 14-3 run fueled by its defense. Georgetown at one point went more than 10 1/2 minutes without a field goal, missing five straight attempts, turning the ball over and even getting hit with a shot-clock violation.

"All the credit goes to them," Lubick said. "We didn't come ready to fight."

Ayegba and Lubick had three fouls each by halftime, and three other Hoyas who spent time guarding the paint had picked up two fouls. That included Smith, who picked up his third in the opening minute of the second half and had to spend long stretches on the bench.

Embiid and Black took advantage of his absence.

When the Jayhawks' two post players weren't scoring on an array of layups and dunks, they were getting hacked. Embiid wound up 9 of 12 from the free throw line, while Black was 7 of 9.

No. 5 Michigan St. 92 Texas 78

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Adreian Payne scored a career-high 32 points and No. 5 Michigan State dominated the final 11 minutes of a 92-78 victory over Texas on Saturday.

The Spartans (10-1) led for only 56 seconds in the first half as Texas (10-2) controlled the game early.

Michigan State used a 9-2 run to take a 52-50 lead about halfway through the second half. Following two quick buckets by Jonathan Holmes, six Spartans scored during a 14-2 run that put the game away.

Payne made two free throws during that run and went 10 of 13 from the field and 11 of 12 from the free throw line. Gary Harris, who missed three recent games with an ankle injury, scored 19 points while Travis Trice, battling a foot blister, contributed 13 points and was 3 of 4 from 3-point range.

Cameron Ridley scored 13 of his 17 points in the first half for Texas, which was coming off an 86-83 win at No. 14 North Carolina.