|Ben McLemore and the Jayhawks were all smiles against Belmont. (US Presswire)|
Big 12 scoreboard for Dec. 15
No. 9 Kansas 89, Belmont 60: The Jayhawks have played about as well as they could play the last two games. And if they aren't peaking, then the rest of the Big 12 cannot like what the future holds. Kansas (8-1) turned in its second straight dominant performance following last week's pounding of Colorado. Both blowouts came against teams that will likely make the NCAA tournament. Travis Releford and Ben McLemore led KU with 17 points apiece, and Jeff Withey added 14 points and five blocks. Belmont (7-3) came in making 38.5 percent of its 3-pointers and the Bruins had their worst shooting night of the season, making only 8 of 38 threes.
No. 14 Gonzaga 68, Kansas State 52: The Wildcats (7-2) are still trying to figure out how to thrive in Bruce Weber's motion offense. The struggles were tough to watch at times on Saturday night as once Gonzaga got its offense going K-State could not keep up. The Bulldogs (10-1) stretched a one-point halftime lead to as many as 21 in the second half. K-State's offensive woes had a lot to do with the inability to get leading scorer Rodney McGruder going. McGruder did not score for the first 30 minutes, 50 seconds, breaking his scoreless streak with two free throws. He finished 1 of 9 from the field with four points. PG Angel Rodriguez led K-State with 14 points. Gonzaga big man Kelly Olynyk scored a game-high 20 points in only 19 minutes.
No. 3 Michigan 81, West Virginia 66: This could have been uglier than the final outcome. The Wolverines (11-0) jumped out to a 19-4 start, but the Mountaineers, to their credit, hung around and nearly made it a game by going on a 17-5 run that cut Michigan's lead to 71-64 with 4:31 left. But the Mountaineers (4-5) continue to be a team that regularly experiences long droughts. Freshman guard Terry Henderson led WVU with 23 points. Michigan PG Trey Burke scored 27 points, had seven assists and six rebounds. West Virginia was without junior big man Aaric Murray, the team's leading rebounder and third-leading scorer, who did not make the trip to Brooklyn.
Oklahoma 64, Texas A&M 54: Oklahoma's Cameron Clark found a new position and possibly a new role on Saturday afternoon. Clark moved to the power forward position and scored a season-high 17 points, including 10 during a 21-7 run that started with the game tied at 41. Romero Osby led the Sooners with 19 points and seven rebounds. Both performances were needed with second-leading scorer Amath M'Baye going scoreless. Oklahoma (7-2) started to take control of the game with its defensive pressure, forcing 19 turnovers, which was the most given up by Texas A&M (7-2) this season.
Iowa State 86, Drake 77: On Iowa State's worst 3-point shooting game of the season, Melvin Ejim made the cold shooting obsolete. Ejim had a double-double with 21 points and 11 rebounds and also had four assists and four steals as he returned to the starting lineup after coming off the bench for the first time in the previous game. The Cyclones (8-3), who typically rely on their outside shooting, made only 4 of 19 three-pointers. Leading scorer Will Clyburn missed all three of his 3-point attempts but still scored 17 points and had 10 rebounds. Drake (4-5) kept it close but Iowa State held on by making 30 of 41 free throws.
Texas 75, Texas State 63: Point guard Javan Felix has had the tough task of filling in for Myck Kabongo so far this year, a prominent role that he was not expected to play as a freshman. Felix is starting to play better and had his best performance against Texas State, scoring 20 points and dishing out seven assists. He still had five turnovers, which has been a bugaboo. The Longhorns (6-4) are still struggling to get the offense going as they shot just 39.7 percent. Their defense continued to be a strength, holding Texas State (4-6) to 34.5 percent shooting and forcing 18 turnovers.
Star of the day: McLemore, Kansas. Coach Bill Self said this week that McLemore had only scratched the surface of how good he could be. Consider the surface scratched on Saturday night. McLemore was efficient against Belmont, making 6 of 7 shots from the floor including 4 of 5 threes. He also had one of the game's best highlights, throwing down an alley oop at the buzzer before halftime, which turned out to be a three-point play when he was fouled on the play.
Inside the numbers -- 3 numbers worth a second look
15 -- Points off the bench from freshman Kansas forward Andrew White III. Self moved White to the four spot, a move that worked out well as he scored in double figures for the first time. The 3-point specialist knocked down 3 of 5 and played with the confidence that he lacked early in the year when he struggled to get off the bench.
0-13 -- The combined shooting of Oklahoma's M'Baye, Je'lon Hornbeak and Isaiah Cousins, all starters. Clark and freshman guard Buddy Hield helped make up for the three starters, combining to score 29 of OU's 33 bench points.
7 -- Offensive rebounds for K-State, which was a season low. The Wildcats came in averaging 19 offensive rebounds, getting back 45.8 percent of their misses.
Saturday's quote of the day: "To have guys like Cam [Clark], who works really hard, I am really proud of him because I know he works really hard, and he doesn't pout when things don't go his way. It was really good to see him have a good game." -- Oklahoma's Osby on the play of Clark.
Dec. 16 games
Central Arkansas at Oklahoma State, 4 p.m. ET (FSOK)
McNeese State at Texas Tech, 6 p.m. ET (FSSW)
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).