The Associated Press
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Tim Abromaitis scored 20 points and Tyrone Nash added 15 points and 10 rebounds to lead No. 15 Notre Dame to a 69-55 rout of No. 9 Georgetown on Wednesday night in the Big East conference opener.
Back-to-back 3-pointers from Abromaitis and Scott Martin sparked a 14-2 Notre Dame in the second half to put the Irish up by 16 points with 11:51 to play.
Georgetown answered back with a 9-0 run to cut the Irish lead to seven points 3 minutes later. But Abromaitis and Ben Hansbrough hit consecutive 3s for Notre Dame with just over six minutes to go to push the lead back to double digits.
Austin Freeman, who scored 21 to lead Georgetown, had four straight to get the deficit back under 10, but a three-point play by Abromaitis ended the Hoyas’ chances for a late comeback.
The Irish (12-1) used an 8-0 run in the first half to take the lead, which they did not relinquish.
The Hoyas (11-2), who came into the game second in the nation shooting 52.8 percent from the field, were held to 42.6 percent in their first loss. Georgetown guards Chris Wright and Jason Clark, each averaging 13.7 points, combined to score just 11. Wright managed only three points on 1-of-9 shooting, missing all five of his 3-point attempts.
It was their first loss in a Big East opener under coach John Thompson III.
Hansbrough finished with 17 for Notre Dame, including making all 10 of his free throw attempts. The Irish enjoyed a huge advantage from the line, shooting 22-of-27 while Georgetown went just 5-of-9. Martin chipped in 11 points.
No. 3 Kansas 82, Texas-Arlington 57 — Box Score
LAWRENCE, Kan. — Thomas Robinson had a career-high 20 points and 10 rebounds to help No. 3 Kansas beat Texas-Arlington 82-57 on Wednesday night.
Robinson was making his first start because Marcus Morris was benched for getting ejected in the previous game. Morris finished with 13 points as Kansas extended its school-record home court winning streak to 66 games. His brother Markieff had 14 points.
Bo Ingram led Texas-Arlington (5-5) with 20 points, including four 3-pointers. The Mavericks of the Southland Conference had never beaten a ranked opponent. They were 3-50 against teams from the Big 12, but only trailed by 12 points early in the second half.
While the Jayhawks (12-0) looked sluggish after two-a-day practices during the Christmas break, Texas-Arlington dove for loose balls, fought for rebounds and for the first 25 minutes or so frequently outhustled Kansas down the court.
Kansas, one of eight unbeaten Division I teams starting the week, led only 58-46 about midway through the second half and called time out after LaMarcus Reed II and Darius Richardson scored.
Then Marcus Morris, who came off the bench at the 11:51 mark of the first half, ignited a 14-2 run with a free throw and dunk. Twin brother Markieff Morris capped the spurt with a big dunk for a 72-48 lead.
For the rest of the night, it was all Kansas.
Travis Releford had a 3-pointer for a 69-48 lead at the 6:10 mark, Markieff Morris pulled down an offensive rebound and got a put-back and then made a free throw.
Robinson, a 6-foot-9 sophomore who hadn’t started all year, scored Kansas’ first seven points of the second half after Ingram’s bucket had sliced the lead to 36-30.
The Mavericks, trying to avoid their first winless December since 1959, went on an early 11-2 run and silenced the sellout crowd at Allen Fieldhouse which expected a wire-to-wire rout. When Ingram made a 3-pointer from the wing, the visitors suddenly had a 14-11 lead.
After Robinson missed two free throws, the Cavaliers went up 16-11 on a dunk by Reed.
It was 18-13 when Marcus Morris’ bucket was followed by Elijah Johnson’s 3-pointer and the Jayhawks were off on a 15-2 spree. Marcus Morris, who did not start because he got ejected from the previous game, ended the run with a 3-pointer from the corner at the 5:12 mark.
No. 19 UCF 71, Furman 53 — Box Score
ORLANDO, Fla. — Keith Clanton scored 21 points and Marcus Jordan added 15 to lift No. 19 Central Florida to a 71-53 win against Furman on Wednesday night in the first game of the UCF Holiday Classic.
Jordan, son of former NBA star Michael Jordan, also had five assists despite playing with an injured ankle to help UCF (12-0) remain unbeaten. Isaiah Sykes added 12 points for UCF, which meets the winner of the Princeton-Northeastern game in the championship Thursday night.
Arnu Saaka was the only Furman player to reach double figures, scoring 17 points for the Paladins (8-3).
Clanton and Jordan were a sterling inside-outside combination in the first half when UCF hit 54.8 percent (17 of 31) from the field. Clanton hit six of his first seven shots, most of them driving layups past Palladin center Colin Reddick.
Jordan, who didn’t start for the second straight game because of his sore ankle, hit five of six jumpers, including two 3-pointers. He also handed out four assists as UCF built a 39-27 halftime advantage.
The Knights never let Furman get closer than 12 points in the second half as Sykes and backup center Tom Herzog (10 points) kept the Knights comfortably in front by controlling the play around the basket.
No. 23 Illinois 87, Iowa 77 — Box Score
IOWA CITY, Iowa — Demetri McCamey led five players in double figures with 20 points and No. 23 Illinois beat host Iowa 87-77 on Wednesday night in its Big Ten opener.
D.J. Richardson added 17 for the Illini (11-3, 1-0 Big Ten), who hit 11 of their first 13 tries from 3-point range and shot 66.7 percent from the floor to hold off the rebuilding Hawkeyes.
The Illini hit their first seven 3s, then pushed a 12-point lead to 58-39 less than two minutes into the second half. Iowa rallied to get within 65-59, but McCamey sandwiched a key jumper around a pair of 3s to put the Illini ahead 70-59 with 7:01 left.
Matt Gatens had a game-high 21 points to lead Iowa (7-6, 0-1), which dropped its league opener for the sixth time in seven years.
Mike Davis had 15 points to crack 1,000 for his career for Illinois, which has won five straight over the Hawkeyes for the first time since 1965.
Illinois came in shooting just 9-of-35 from 3-point range in their last two games, both losses.
Against the Hawkeyes, the Illini could barely miss from beyond the arc – finishing an astounding 13-of-18.
Richardson opened the second half with yet another 3, and McCamey and Jereme Richmond toyed with Iowa’s defense for a fastbreak layup that put the Illini up by 19 with 18:10 left.
Iowa coach Fran McCaffery, making his Big Ten debut, called a quick timeout and the Hawkeyes responded with a 10-0 run to get back within 58-49. Richmond’s intentional foul with 10:46 left put Iowa in position to get as close as three, but the Hawkeyes missed two free throws and threw the ball away.
McCamey, who also had 10 assists, made them pay with a 3 from the wing put Illinois ahead 65-54.
Iowa pulled within 65-59 with 8:21 to go, but McCamey answered with an off-balance 15-footer to beat the shot clock and a long 3 to give the Illini some breathing room at 70-59.
No. 24 Vanderbilt 77, Marquette 76 — Box Score
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Andre Walker scored on a layup with 4.1 seconds left, and Vanderbilt held off Marquette in its first game since moving into the Top 25 this season.
Marquette (9-4) had the ball last. But Darius Johnson-Odom tripped trying to drive to the basket, losing the ball at the buzzer.
The Commodores (10-2) improved to 102-8 in non-conference play at home under coach Kevin Stallings despite leading scorer John Jenkins going 2-of-15 from 3-point range. He finished with 13 points. Jeff Taylor had a team-high 19 points, Brad Tinsley added 15, Festus Ezeli had 12 and Steve Tchiengang 10.
Jimmy Butler led Marquette with 15 points. Darius Johnson-Odom had 14, Dwight Buycks 13, Chris Otule 12 and Vander Blue 10.
This was only the fifth meeting between these programs and the first since 1974 when Marquette beat the Commodores in the NCAA tournament.