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Big second half lifts Jayhawks

Perry Ellis gets a rebound for Kansas, which beats Chatta­nooga after trailing by 12.

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Perry Ellis gets a rebound for Kansas, which beats Chatta­nooga after trailing by 12.

LAWRENCE, Kan. — Bill Self dared Ben McLemore to be more aggressive Thursday night. If the freshman guard wasn't, No. 7 Kansas could have been upset.

Instead, McLemore recorded 25 points and eight rebounds as the Jayhawks used a second-half charge to beat Chattanooga 69-55.

"I just came in with the mind-set of being aggressive, like Coach wants me to be every night," said McLemore, who dislocated his finger twice during the second half.

The Jayhawks (2-1), coming off a loss Tuesday to Michigan State, trailed 42-30 early in the second half. Jeff Withey began their comeback with a basket inside. Elijah Johnson made a 3-pointer and McLemore slammed down the first of consecutive highlight-reel dunks to trigger a 27-4 run.

"Ben showed a glimpse of his athletic ability," Self said. "Defenses are going to be designed to stop Ben, and we don't know how to run an offense yet. We're still trying to figure it out. And to me, that was pretty impressive."

No. 1 Indiana 99, Sam Houston St. 45: Christian Watford scored 23 for the host Hoosiers in the Legends Classic. Indiana, which led 16-2, also routed its previous two opponents, defeating Bryant 97-54 and North Dakota State 87-61. It is the first time it has won each of its first three games by 25 or more points since 1979-80. Indiana plays Georgia on Monday in New York.

No. 2 L'ville 80, Samford 54: Chane Behanan had 12 points and a career-high 18 rebounds for the host Cardinals in the opener of the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament, which continues next week in the Bahamas. Louisville (2-0) never trailed.

No. 6 N.C. State 72, Penn St. 55: T.J. Warren had 22 points and eight rebounds for the Wolfpack in the quarterfinals of the Puerto Rico Tipoff. C.J. Leslie scored five of his 14 in a 10-0 run that put N.C. State (2-0) up 47-30 early in the second half. N.C. State faces Massachusetts in the next round.

No. 16 Baylor 84, BC 74: Pierre Jackson scored 31, including two 3-pointers during a 10-0 second-half run that put the Bears ahead for good in the quarterfinals of the Charleston Classic in South Carolina. Baylor (3-0), which faces Colorado today.

Bulls sign historic class

TAMPA — The signing of Orlando Evans forward Dre Clayton late Wednesday completed USF's recruiting class for 2013. The six players comprise the largest class of coach Stan Heath's career.

And for the first time, the Bulls got two players ranked among the top 100 by ESPN.com: No. 72 John Egbunu, a center from Fort Walton Beach, and No. 96 Chris Perry, a forward from Bartow. Also signed: guard Bo Zeigler of Detroit, guard Drew Davis (Egbunu's teammate at Evans) and Heath's son Josh, a guard who led Tampa Prep to a state title last season.

Heath said while the new Muma Center practice facility and renovated Sun Dome played a role in luring the recruits, last season's two wins in the NCAA Tournament played the biggest.

"Winning," Heath said. "Going to the NCAA Tournament and having success really changed the perception of who we were nationally. And second, it opened the door when we had a kid on campus to see the facilities. It really blew a lot of kids away."

Meanwhile, Kentucky announced a class that analysts said again tops the nation. It includes 6-foot-5 twins Andrew and Aaron Harrison, considered two of the nation's top guards, as well as forward Marcus Lee and guard James Young, each of whom is ranked among the top 10 at their positions by analysts.

Women: 28-2 run gets Seminoles past Gators

TALLAHASSEE — Leonor Rodriguez scored a career-high 21 to lead Florida State past Florida 98-67.

The Gators (2-1) led 27-21 with 8:15 left when the Seminoles (2-0) called timeout. From there, FSU went on a 28-2 run to end the half to lead 49-29. Chelsea Davis scored 11 of her 16 during the run.

"It was the defense," Rodriguez said. "It was also the bench and was also the fans. It was just having fun. It was running the floor. It was going hard to the basket. It was us doing our job."

No. 8 L'ville 90, Austin Peay 52: Monique Reid, limited while recovering from knee surgery, scored 14 in 10 minutes for the visiting Cardinals (3-0).

No. 13 Vandy 69, UAB 54: Christina Foggie scored 17 of her 19 in the second half as the host Commodores (3-0) pulled away after leading just 23-18 at halftime.

No. 24 Tennessee 101, Rice 48: Meighan Simmons scored 22 for the Vols in their first home game of the post-Pat Summitt era. Summitt, who stepped down as coach because of early onset dementia, watched from a midcourt seat as Tennessee (2-1) took control with a 18-0 run in the first half.

Times staff writer Greg Auman contributed to this report.

Big second half lifts Jayhawks 11/15/12 [Last modified: Friday, November 16, 2012 12:28am]
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