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Big 12 Quarterfinals Recap

March 13, 2004 Conference Notes No Comments

Big 12 Quarterfinals Recap

Recap by Zach Ewing

For all the upsets going on elsewhere in the country, this is one tournament without a Cinderella. The top three seeds all advanced to the Big 12 semifinals, and the fourth team is NCAA lock Texas Tech. That’s not good news for the Big 12’s bubble teams: Colorado and Missouri have both failed to take matters into their own hands and now must await a verdict from the selection committee on Sunday.

No. 1 Oklahoma State 83, No. 8 Iowa State 75
The favorite of this tournament bent but did not break in the first game of the day Friday. Oklahoma State used several first-half and early second-half runs to gain control of the game, leading 50-38 with 16 minutes to play. Then the Cyclones charged back. A 9-0 run made it a three-point game with 12:44 to play and after OSU tried to separate itself again, ISU came back again. Just past the eight-minute mark, Will Blalock stole the ball, dished to Marcus Jefferson for a dunk and the game was tied 59-59 with 7:44 to play.

But champions aren’t easily beaten, and the Cowboys stormed back. Big 12 player of the year John Lucas scored five straight points and OSU went on a 13-4 run for a 72-63 lead with four minutes to go. Lucas hit 6 free throws down the stretch to help the Cowboys hang on and finished with 23 points. Joey Graham led all scorers, though, with 25 points on 11-of-13 shooting to go with 9 rebounds. For the Cyclones, Curtis Stinson struggled a day after lighting up Kansas State. Stinson shot 3-of-11 from the floor for just 7 points, and he committed 6 turnovers.

The ISU big men, Jackson Vroman and Jared Homan, both had big days. Vroman scored 24 points with 10 rebounds and Homan had 13 points and 13 boards. However, when Vroman fouled out with 1:09 to play, it was in the bank for Oklahoma State.

With Stinson and Blalock coming back, ISU will be good next year, but this is the year of the Cowboy.

Player of the Game: Joey Graham – 25 points on 11-of-13 shooting, 9 rebounds

No. 5 Texas Tech 79, No. 4 Colorado 69
With Andre Emmett playing well but not scoring, Texas Tech turned to two players who both had their career-high in points today. Ronald Ross scored 25 points to best his career-high of 24 and little-used senior Mikey Marshall scored 23 points, way above his previous high of 14. Emmett added 13 for the Raiders. All three of those players pulled down 7 rebounds.

The game was tied at 34 at the half, but Tech took control early in the second. A 10-3 run made the score 52-44, and when CU scored the next four points to cut the lead in half, Marshall and Ross responded with five straight points for a 57-48 lead. The Buffaloes never got closer than five again.

Marshall, Ross and freshman Jarrius Jackson carried the Red Raider load in the second half. The trio combined for 36 of TTU’s 45 second-half points, and always had an answer when it seemed CU was ready for a run.

In contrast, Blair Wilson led the Buffaloes with 16 points, but only three of them came in the second half. Marcus Hall also scored 14, but Texas Tech shut down Colorado’s stars, David Harrison and Michel Morandais. Harrison was held to 8 points and 5 rebounds and Morandais had 8 points on 3-of-14 shooting. Harrison only had four shots from the field and shot a terrible 2-of-8 from the free-throw line. The whole team shot an overall 4-of-13 from the line.

Now Ricardo Patton has to hope his team has enough wins (18 overall, 10 in the Big 12) to impress the NCAA Tournament selection committee. It’s in a precarious position because the Big 12 may have played its way out of getting more than four teams in, because those four all advanced to the semifinals.

But Harrison doesn’t think so. He’s upset that Colorado isn’t considered a lock.

“We finished fourth in our conference,” Harrison said. “If we’re not selected for the tournament, it’ll be a travesty. With the same record, if our name happened to be Kansas or Missouri, it wouldn’t even be a question. It’s kind of insulting to be asked about being on the bubble.”

Player of the Game: Mikey Marshall – smashed his career-high in points with 23 and added 7 rebounds while shooting an astounding 8-of-9 from the floor.

No. 2 Texas 66, No. 7 Oklahoma 63
In a game it needed to have any chance of the Big Dance, Oklahoma took a surprising lead on Texas but let the Longhorns hang around and hang around and then, just when OU was about to put it away, let UT storm back on top and take a narrow win.

Oklahoma took control of the game with a 12-0 run in the first half to go up 24-17. The Longhorns were unable to take advantage of their advantage inside and also had committed 10 turnovers by halftime.

In the second half, Texas made many runs but never got the score back to even until late. The Longhorns scored the half’s first seven points to get within 37-35, but OU hit two straight three-pointers. Texas got within 43-42, but the Sooners made an 8-1 run to go back up 51-43. It wasn’t until Brandon Mouton completed a three-point play with 26.8 seconds left that Texas got its first lead since early in the first half. Then Oklahoma turned the ball over, Mouton made two more free throws and Drew Lavender air-balled a three-pointer at the buzzer to send OU to the NIT.

Mouton and freshman P.J. Tucker, both of Texas, each scored 16 points to lead all players. Tucker also had 12 rebounds. UT center Jason Klotz shot 5-of-5 from the floor for 13 points. For OU De’Angelo Alexander had 15 points but Drew Lavender and Jason Detrick combined for 6-of-24 from the floor. Oklahoma shot only 23 percent from the field in the second half. OU struggled with its depth in the second half. Seven OU players had at least 3 fouls and two Sooners fouled out.

Player of the game: Brandon Mouton, Texas – P.J. Tucker was Texas’ most valuable player until Mouton came out and scored five points in the game’s last 27 seconds to win the game.

No. 3 Kansas 94, No. 6 Missouri 69
The first half was similar to the teams’ previous two meetings: Missouri gets off to a fast start, stalls, and Kansas comes back to make it tight at the half. But this time, Kansas didn’t mess around before winning. The Jayhawks exploded on a 24-4 run shortly after halftime, and despite a 10-0 hiccup, cruised to victory.

Wayne Simien was tremendous, tying Big 12 Tournament records by scoring 31 points and making 12 field goals, and setting one for field goal percentage by shooting 12-of-14. He also yanked down 11 rebounds. He took control of the game with eight straight points to tie the score at 31 and then kept pouring it on.

Meanwhile, MU only shot 34 percent from the field after shooting 60 percent in Thursday’s night’s first round. Arthur Johnson scored 26 points and had 9 rebounds for the Tigers, but it wasn’t nearly enough. No other Mizzou player scored in double figures.

The Tigers’ Tournament hopes are hanging by a thread right now. At this point, I’d include Colorado as one of five Big 12 teams in the tournament and leave Missouri and Oklahoma out. MU was once ranked No. 2 this season, then fell way back, came back on to everyone’s radar screen and now has fallen back to NIT status again. Sophomore Jimmy McKinney said all he wants is for the selection committee to give them a look.

“All we can do now is pray,” McKinney said. “I’ll tell you one thing: if they give us another chance, man, teams better watch out.”

Player of the game: Wayne Simien – Thank you, Captain Obvious. Simien was astounding, shooting 12-of-14 for 31 points to go with 11 rebounds. Whenever Kansas wanted to score, all they had to do was give him the ball.

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