By Matt Tait — firstname.lastname@example.org
Update: Bill Self says Perry Ellis is fine...
It was a slug fest and one that Georgetown controlled in the early going. But by game's end, it was the Kansas University men's basketball team that stood in the center of the ring with its arm raised following a 86-64 victory in the first ever meeting between these two programs in Allen Fieldhouse.
Joel Embiid (17 points, 8 rebounds) paced the Jayhawks in the first half on both ends and a strong effort from senior Tarik Black, who finally avoided foul trouble, and finished with 17 points and 6 rebounds to help push the 18th ranked Jayhawks to 8-3 in their first home game since Nov. 22.
Georgetown fell to 7-3 and 0-1 in true road games this season.
Both teams flexed their muscles throughout this one, particularly in the paint, where the officials let a lot of contact go and let the players settle things themselves. It had the look of a classic Big East game and, in many ways, might be exactly what this young KU team needed.
Here’s a quick look back at some of the action. Be sure to check KUsports.com throughout the afternoon for all of our coverage:
• The game turned when: KU responded to its largest deficit of the day (21-15) with an 8-2 run to tie the game. The hole was not huge but KU looked a little rattled during the stretch in which Georgetown built the lead. Led by Naadir Tharpe and Embiid, KU kept its poise and responded by closing the half on a 29-13 run to go up 10 (44-34) at the break.
• Offensive highlight: With both teams battling for everything they could get, KU picked up an easy (not to mention stylish) two points on a sweet alley-oop dish from Naadir Tharpe to Tarik Black. Tharpe used a quick cross-over dribble to blow by his man at the top of the key and as the defense collapsed on the drive, he flipped it over the top to Black, who hammered it with two hands. It may have been the play that sparked the return of Black's confidence.
It should be noted that the above entry was written before Frank Mason's ridiculous, over-the-head alley-oop pass to Wayne Selden with a few minutes remaining. That was a highlight. <<<
• Defensive highlight: With just over 10 minutes remaining in the first half and the shot clock winding down on a Georgetown possession, the Hoyas' Aaron Bowen caught the ball in the corner and drove hard to the rim for what looked to be an easy dunk. KU's Joel Embiid had other ideas, though, as he hustled across the lane, met Bowen in mid-air and rejected the two-handed dunk attempt with one hand. The block sparked a KU run that turned a six-point Georgetown lead into a eight-point KU lead seven minutes later. Tarik Black also had a sweet block — on his man — in the second half.
• Key stat: The Jayhawks shot 54 percent from the floor and that was huge (particularly because they got a bunch of shots at the rim) but the discrepancy in bench points was even bigger, as KU's bench outscored Georgetown's 33-15.
• Up next: The Jayhawks will enjoy a few days off for winter break and will return to Allen Fieldhouse Dec. 30 for a 7 p.m. match-up with Toledo. Box Score