|Kansas State and guard Martavious Irving knocked off No. 8 Florida on Saturday. (US Presswire)|
Big 12 scoreboard for Dec. 22
Kansas State 67, No. 8 Florida 61: Bruce Weber has his first marquee win as the coach of the Wildcats and already has done something his popular predecessors -- Bob Huggins and Frank Martin -- never did during their respective tenures at K-State. This was Kansas State's first nonconference win over a team ranked in the nation's top 10 since beating St. John's in 1961. Playing in front of a partisan crowd on a "neutral" site in Kansas City, Weber's squad used a strong first-half performance to build a lead Florida (8-2) couldn't quite overcome. The K-State defense held the Gators to one field goal in the last 8:50 of the first half, while Will Spradling scored 13 of his 17 points in the opening 20 minutes to give the Wildcats (9-2) a double-digit lead they wouldn't relinquish.
TCU 65, Rice 63: The Horned Frogs barely did enough to avoid what would have been a morale-killing loss. TCU led by as many as 18 points, but allowed the Owls back into the game by giving the ball away early and often. The Frogs' 16 turnovers and 62.5 percent performance at the foul line (15 of 24) nearly came back to bite them, but Rice's Tamir Jackson missed a would-be game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer. TCU (8-4) got a career-high 31 points from Garlon Green and avoided a bad loss to a Rice team that is now 3-8.
No. 9 Kansas 74, No. 7 Ohio State 66: The Buckeye beaters did it again. For the third time in the past two years, Kansas (10-1) knocked off Ohio State (9-2). In last year's Final Four, it was Jeff Withey's influence on the defensive end that was one of the main differences as he blocked seven shots and held Jared Sullinger to 5-of-19 shooting. With Sullinger no longer around, the Buckeyes were hesitant to go at Withey. The nation's leading shot blocker had his lowest number of blocks all season (one), but his influence was obvious as OSU jacked 31 threes, making only eight. Freshman Ben McLemore led KU with 22 points, KU's four senior starters all had strong games. Withey scored 14 points and had 10 rebounds, Elijah Johnson scored 13, Travis Releford scored 11 and Kevin Young added six points and 10 boards.
No. 20 Michigan State 67, Texas 56: This one wasn't much different than the Texas' other losses. Texas (7-5) struggled to score in the second half and Michigan State (11-2) quickly erased a five-point halftime deficit. The Longhorns made just 9 of 30 field goals in the second half as their shot selection was suspect. Julien Lewis led UT with 16 points. Freshman PG Javan Felix had his second straight strong performance, finishing with six points and 11 assists. Michigan State's Derrick Nix controlled the paint, finishing with 25 points and 11 rebounds.
Arizona State 77, Texas Tech 62: The Red Raiders (5-4) lost their third straight game, all three of which have come at home. Texas Tech struggled to stay in the game as Arizona State (10-2) was able to knock down 14 of 27 three-point shots. Jaye Crockett led Texas Tech with 11 points and eight rebounds. The rest of Texas Tech's starters comined to score only 13 points. Jordan Tolbert and Josh Gray scored 10 points apiece.
Oklahoma State 78, Tennessee Tech 39: Freshman Marcus Smart filled up the stat line as usual -- 11 points, four rebounds, three assists, four steals and two blocks -- but it was his former high school teammate who stole the show on Saturday. Phil Forte made six 3-pointers and scored a career-high 22 points off the bench. The Cowboys (10-1) put together another dominant defensive performance, forcing 20 turnovers and Tennessee Tech (6-6) was only able to get up 39 field goal attempts and shoot 38.5 percent.
West Virginia 72, Radford 62: Last Saturday, Bob Huggins left Aaric Murray in Morgantown when West Virginia traveled to Brooklyn to play Michigan. This Saturday, Murray was by far the Mountaineers best player. He scored 23 points, had eight rebounds, four assists, three steals and a block in 38 minutes. As has been the case all season, the Mountaineers (6-5) struggled shooting from the perimeter, making only 3 of 12 threes, but they attacked and got to the line and knocked down 25 of 35 free throws. West Virginia's defensive pressure forced Radford (5-7) into 17 turnovers.
Saturday's player of the day: McLemore, Kansas. He provided plenty of highlights -- a one-handed dunk alley-oop off a baseline inbounds pass was the signature -- and he also knocked down some smooth jumpers. Usually Ohio State's Deshaun Thomas is the best offensive player on the court, but McLemore outplayed Thomas, who scored 16 points on 4-of-11 shooting.
Runner-up: TCU's Green. He was outstanding, playing all 40 minutes and hitting 10 of 16 shots from the field (including a trio of 3-pointers). It turned out the Horned Frogs needed every bit of his career-high 31-point contribution to hold on down the stretch and avoid what would have been a devastating loss to Rice.
Video highlights via ESPN
Inside the numbers -- 3 numbers worth a second look
25-101 -- 3-point shooting of KU's past three opponents. The presence of Withey is forcing teams to try to beat KU from the perimeter, a strategy that isn't working.
16 -- Assists on West Virginia's 22 baskets. That's surprising considering PG Juwan Staten did not finish with an assist.
51 -- Turnovers forced by Oklahoma State in its past two games.
Saturday's quote of the day: "There was one point in the second half where I turned to the bench and I said, `Hey, let's call a play where we score.' A lot of it just comes down to you've got to put the ball in the basket in a game like this and we couldn't do it. It became contagious." --Ohio State coach Thad Matta on the effort of KU's defense.
Runner-up: "I told them that we've done well to this point, but the warm-up is over. We've gotten off to great start, but it's not how you start. It's how you finish." -- Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford on his team's strong start to the season.
For more up-to-the-minute news and analysis from Big 12 bloggers C.J. Moore and Patrick Southern, follow @CBSSportsBig12 on Twitter. You can also follow C.J. (@cjmoore4) and Patrick (@patricksouthern).