Jayhawks host hungry Hoyas

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Updated: 12/21/2013 10:56 am

Lawrence, KS (SportsNetwork.com) - The 18th-ranked Kansas Jayhawks return to the Allen Fieldhouse for the first time in nearly a month, as they play host to the Georgetown Hoyas in a non-conference matchup on Saturday afternoon.

Bill Self's Jayhawks haven't played a game on their home floor since Nov. 22, an 88-58 win over Towson. The team traveled to the Bahamas to continue play in the Battle 4 Atlantis after that and then played a couple of true road games at Colorado and Florida, before last weekend's matchup with New Mexico in Kansas City. After falling to the Buffaloes and Gators in back-to-back games, Kansas found its way back into the win column against the Lobos, with an 80-63 victory at the Sprint Center to move to 7-3.

John Thompson III's Hoyas bring plenty of momentum into this contest. Georgetown is 7-2 on the season and enters this game having won six straight contests after knocking off Elon on Tuesday, 85-76.

This is just the third meeting all-time between these two teams. Georgetown won the first meeting in the 1987 NCAA Tournament (70-57), while Kansas tied things up (67-63) in the 2011 Maui Invitational.

The Hoyas weathered the early storm against Elon, as the Phoenix shot a sterling 57.7 percent from the floor over the first 20 minutes to take a 40-39 advantage into the break. Georgetown turned the tables in the second half, connecting on 65.2 percent from the floor after intermission to keep its win streak going. Markel Starks led four Hoyas in double figures with 21 points. D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera and Joshua Smith had strong outings as well with 19 and 18 points, respectively, while Nate Lubick finished things off with 10 points.

Georgetown has played well at both ends of the floor this season, averaging 76.6 ppg on .489 shooting, while limiting foes to just 64.8 ppg, and well under 40 percent efficiency (.367). Smith-Rivera (16.9 ppg) and Starks (15.7 ppg) are a formidable backcourt tandem. Smith has been extremely reliable in the frontcourt, shooting a sizzling .708 from the field and averaging 14.1 ppg.

Kansas won its ninth straight game at the Sprint Center, as the Jayhawks used a strong shooting performance to knock off the Lobos last time out. KU shot 51.9 percent from the field overall and outscored New Mexico 38-24 in the paint. Perry Ellis led the charge up front and just missed a double-double, posting 21 points and nine rebounds. Joel Embiid added a career-high 18 points, followed by Andrew Wiggins and Wayne Selden Jr. at 11 and 10 points, respectively.

Efficient shooting is a strength for Kansas this season, as the team is connecting on a cool 50 percent from the floor, leading to 77.4 ppg. The most celebrated freshman in the nation, Wiggins hasn't disappointed, leading the team in scoring at just under 16 points per game (15.9). The youth movement continues with the sophomore Ellis (14.1 ppg, 6.7 rpg), and freshen Embiid (9.8 ppg, 6.5 rpg) and Selden (8.7 ppg).

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