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Kansas can't avoid a large letdown

No carryover for Kansas. One week after beating defending national champion Florida, the fifth-ranked Jayhawks stumbled yesterday against DePaul, a team looking for its own identity.

Sammy Mejia scored 8 straight points in the final three minutes to spark a 14-0 run -- hitting the tying and go-ahead 3-pointers -- and DePaul rallied from a 14-point second-half deficit to stun the Jayhawks, 64-57, in Rosemont, Ill.

"Florida was good for us. But yet it wasn't the thing that fixed everything because you still have to come to work every day and practice and prepare," said Kansas coach Bill Self, whose team lost earlier this season at home to Oral Roberts. "And we're not very good at that yet."

DePaul was behind, 53-45, with 4:39 left before Mejia brought the Blue Demons all the way back before a frenetic crowd at All-State Arena.

"It was an opportunity to prove yourself and that's what today's game was," Mejia said. "Even when we were down 9 at the half, we were confident we would win the game, no matter how much down."

Mejia's 3-pointer tied it at 53 with 3:02 left and after a missed free throw by Brandon Rush, he hit another three to give DePaul a 56-53 lead with 2:10 to go. After a Jayhawks miss, the Blue Demons (3-4) ran the shot clock down and Mejia hit a jumper from the baseline with 1:18 left.

Russell Robinson of Kansas missed from the line and DePaul's Marcus Heard sank one foul shot with 1:07 remaining to make it 59-53.

Mejia finished with 23 points to lead DePaul. Mario Chalmers had 15 for Kansas (6-2), which shot only 35 percent in the second half. DePaul shot 54 percent in the final 20 minutes after shooting 26 percent in the first half. Rush, averaging 13.6 points, was held to just 3.

Ohio St. 78, Valparaiso 58 -- In his first competition in seven months, prized 7-foot freshman Greg Oden helped power the No. 3 Buckeyes (7-1) at home by providing 14 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 blocks.

Oden had not played summer ball or with Ohio State since undergoing surgery June 16 to repair a torn ligament in his right wrist. Wearing an elastic brace on his right wrist and hand, he scored his first point at 12:56 of the opening half with a lefthanded free throw, and finished 8 of 15 from the foul line and 3 of 4 from the field in 23 minutes.

Daequan Cook scored 20 points and Ron Lewis had 10 for Ohio State.

Alabama 78, Tennessee St. 60 -- At Tuscaloosa, Ala., Jermareo Davidson had 22 points and Ronald Steele chipped in 12 points and five assists in his return from knee tendinitis in carrying the No. 6 Crimson Tide (7-0).

N. Carolina 75, Kentucky 63 -- Wayne Ellington scored 17 points, fellow freshman Brandan Wright added 16, and the seventh-ranked Tar Heels (6-1) never trailed at home in a meeting of the winningest schools in college basketball.

N. Dakota St. 64, Marquette 60 -- Andre Smith's 26 points sparked the Bison (5-2) to an upset of the eighth-ranked Golden Eagles (8-1) in the final of the Blue and Gold Classic in Milwaukee.

Texas A&M 74, Pacific 62 -- Joseph Jones had 24 points and Antanas Kavaliauskas scored 23 for the No. 9 Aggies (7-0), who avenged last season's nonconference loss to the visiting Tigers (3-4).

LSU 74, Tulane 67 -- Glen Davis had 20 points and 13 rebounds, Garrett Temple scored 18 points, and the No. 10 Tigers (4-1) turned a big advantage in offensive rebounds into 21 second-chance points in a comeback victory over the determined Green Wave in New Orleans.

Duke 61, Georgetown 52 -- Josh McRoberts had 15 points and the No. 11 Blue Devils (7-1) extended their nonconference home winning streak to 46 games by holding the No. 18 Hoyas (4-3) to two field goals over the final 11:28.

Wisconsin 79, Fla. Int. 63 -- At Madison, Wis., Kammron Taylor scored 16 points, including three 3-pointers during a 17-2 run in the second half that sent the 12th-ranked Badgers (7-1) on their way.

Memphis 77, Manhattan 59 -- At Memphis, Robert Dozier had 19 points and nine rebounds and five players scored in double figures for the No. 14 Tigers (5-1), who scored 33 points off 26 Jasper turnovers.

Wichita St. 64, Syracuse 61 -- The No. 17 Shockers (6-0) took command with a 27-1 burst in the first half, then held off the 15th-ranked Orange (7-1) at the Carrier Dome. Kyle Wilson led the winners with 17 points.

Arizona 84, Illinois 72 -- Chase Budinger had 22 points and the No. 16 Wildcats (5-1) rallied from 16 points down to beat the Illini (7-2) in the second game of the Basketball Hall of Fame Challenge in Phoenix.

Butler 70, Cleveland St. 45 -- At Indianapolis, the No. 19 Bulldogs (9-0) rolled in their Horizon League opener behind Mike Green's 16 points and eight rebounds.

Gonzaga 87, Texas 77 -- Derek Raivio made seven 3-pointers en route to 27 points, and the No. 22 Bulldogs (7-1) prevailed in the opening game of the Basketball Hall of Fame Challenge despite 29 points by Texas freshman Kevin Durant.

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