Big 12 Conference Tournament Recaps
(Thursday, March 14th)
Final Score: Iowa State 73, Oklahoma 66
Kansas City, MO (Sports Network) - Melvin Ejim scored 23 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, leading Iowa State to a 73-66 victory over Oklahoma in the Big 12 quarterfinals at the Sprint Center.
Will Clyburn contributed 17 points and eight rebounds for the Cyclones (22-10), who rallied from a double-digit deficit and bolstered their NCAA Tournament resume with their third straight win. Iowa State will next take on Kansas in Friday's semifinals after the Jayhawks cruised past Texas Tech later on Thursday.
Romero Osby scored 18 points and Cameron Clark added 17 for Oklahoma (20-11), which will await Selection Sunday after losing its last two games.
The Sooners opened the game with the first six points and led by as many as 14 in the first half before taking a 37-29 advantage to the break. Osby started the second half with a three and the Sooners appeared on the way to victory with a 60-48 cushion with 7:42 remaining.
Iowa State followed with the next 12 points, the last eight from Clyburn. He hit back-to-back threes to square it at 60-60 with 4:10 left. Tyus McGee later snapped a 63-63 deadlock with a triple and the Cyclones never trailed again.
Sam Grooms hit two from the line with 1:03 left to pull Oklahoma within 68-66, but Chris Babb's three with the shot-clock winding down sealed it for Iowa State.
Final Score: (7) Kansas 91, Texas Tech 63
Kansas City, MO (Sports Network) - Ben McLemore made four 3-pointers en route to 24 points and the seventh-ranked Kansas Jayhawks handled the Texas Tech Red Raiders, 91-63, in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Tournament.
Rio Adams added 11 points for the Jayhawks (27-5), who are looking for their ninth Big 12 Tournament title. Jeff Withey and Kevin Young each scored nine points for the victors.
Kansas will next take on the fifth-seeded Iowa State Cyclones in Friday's semis. The Jayhawks needed overtime to beat them in both of their regular- season games.
"I think it's going to be a terrific ballgame," Kansas coach Bill Self said about Friday's matchup with Iowa State. "They're good. They can stretch it from all five spots. It's a hard matchup for us in a lot of ways because it gets Jeff away from the basket defensively, and that's where he's so good is protecting the rim."
Dejan Kravic and Dusty Hannahs ended with 20 and 15 points, respectively, for the Red Raiders (11-20), who were coming off a thrilling victory over West Virginia in the first round on Wednesday. Jordan Tolbert donated 13 points.
"I thought we battled with them on the glass, we just couldn't make enough shots," said Texas Tech coach Chris Walker.
McLemore tallied 12 points during Kansas' 15-2 run to start the game. The Red Raiders, however, responded with the next eight points to cut the gap to five, 15-10.
Tolbert made two free throws and a jumper to pull Texas Tech within two, 27-25, with 3:10 left in the first half. But that proved to be as close as the Red Raiders would get.
Kansas closed out the half on a 7-0 spurt, and Withey scored the final five points for a 34-25 margin.
The Jayhawks carried that momentum into the second half by putting together a 10-0 run in the early stages. McLemore bookended the surge with a pair of 3- pointers to make it a 44-27 contest. Kansas cruised to victory from there.
The Jayhawks shot 66 percent from the field, the best mark by any team in a Big 12 Tournament game ... Kansas leads the overall series with Texas Tech by a 25-4 margin. The Jayhawks have won eight straight and nine of the last 10 meetings ... Texas Tech was trying to advance to semifinals of the Big 12 tourney for the first time since 2005.
Final Score: (11) Kansas State 66, Texas 49
Kansas City, MO (Sports Network) - Rodney McGruder had 24 points and seven rebounds on 4-of-8 shooting from behind the arc as No. 11 Kansas State pulled away late to down Texas, 66-49, on Thursday in Big 12 Conference quarterfinal action.
Angel Rodriguez scored 13 points and dished out five helpers for the Wildcats (26-6), who move on to face Oklahoma State on Friday, after falling to the Cowboys, 76-70, to end the regular season nearly one week ago.
"We knew we had a game. When we saw the big lineup, we thought they would play zone," Kansas State coach Bruce Weber said. "I don't think they wanted to chase us, and for the most part it was pretty successful."
Julien Lewis paced Texas with 13 points and Jonathan Holmes donated 10 for the Longhorns (16-17), who shot just 34 percent after winning three straight coming in.
Two Lewis free throws brought Texas within 39-34 just three minutes into the second half, but the contest soon changed.
The Wildcats erupted with a 19-7 flurry as Nino Williams nailed two free throws to make it 58-41 with just over seven minutes remaining. McGruder had 10 points alone during the run which ultimately closed the door on a inconsistent Texas season.
The Longhorns, though, made things interesting with back-to-back 3-pointers to cut the deficit to 11 with 6:19 to play, but Kansas State didn't lose composure. The Wildcats responded by outscoring Texas, 8-2 to close out the contest and secure the victory.
"They're a good team," Texas coach Rick Barnes said. "I think they're the best team in the Big 12. I do. I think they're the best team in the Big 12. Now, whether or not they -- if you go back and look, they tie up for the championship and can always go back to an Iowa State game there. But we'll see. They're going to have to -- they're set up to win a tournament like this because they're tough, they're hard nosed. They get their hands on a lot of balls. And you can't help them."
Texas took an early 7-1 lead before Kansas State broke out for a 17-8 spurt -- kicked off with consecutive Rodriguez triples -- to take a 18-15 lead around the midway point of the first half.
The Wildcats stayed hot from behind the arc to close the half as McGruder had two treys and Martavious Irving also hit a three, though the lead at the break was just 34-28.
Both teams only made 11 field goals after 20 minutes of play, as Texas had 26 attempts and Kansas State had 27. Sheldon McClellan and Myck Kabongo didn't find the scoreboard and combined for an 0-for-3 shooting effort.
Kansas State had lost its last two opening-round Big 12 Tournament contests after reaching the title game in 2010 ... Texas' two leading scorers, McClellan and Kabongo, finished with just five and two points, respectively in defeat ... Lewis' trey with 6:19 to play, which closed the gap to 11 points, was the final field goal of the contest for the Longhorns.
Final Score: (14) Oklahoma State 74, Baylor 72
Kansas City, MO (Sports Network) - Phil Forte hit two free throws with 2.9 seconds remaining as No. 14 Oklahoma State survived a furious late Baylor rally to down the Bears, 74-72, on Thursday in Big 12 Conference quarterfinal action.
Forte finished with 14 points and shot a perfect 6-of-6 from the free throw line for the Cowboys (24-7), who advance to face familiar foe Kansas State in the semifinal round on Friday.
Marcus Smart scored a team-high 21 points and pulled down five rebounds and Le'Bryan Nash added 14 points in the victory. The Cowboys defeated the Wildcats, 76-70, last Saturday to end the regular season.
"We lost a little bit of focus," Smart said. "We came out in the second half, we're up 18, and we didn't really match their intensity like we should have in the first ten minutes. They came out ready and more energized than we expected them to. At this level, this time of the season, you've got to expect it at all times. You can't have any slip ups or 'oh, shoot' moments."
Pierre Jackson scored 24 of his 31 points in the second half for the Bears (18-14), who trailed by 18 at the break and improbably tied the contest on a rare four-point play with 19 seconds remaining. A.J. Walton added 13 and Cory Jefferson had a double-double with 10 points and 10 boards in defeat.
Two Smart free throws with just under five minutes to play gave Oklahoma State a 57-49 edge, before Baylor fought back with an 11-6 spurt that Gary Franklin capped off with a trey to bring the Bears within 63-60 with 2:24 to play.
Nash then extended the lead to five points twice, as his jumper with 1 1/2 minutes remaining made it 67-62. Jackson, though then had a quick lay-in and on the other end of the floor, Michael Cobbins made 1-of-2 free throws.
Jackson stayed hot, however, and nailed a triple with 39 seconds to keep the pressure on and bring Baylor within one. Forte calmly sank two free throws to bring the advantage to three. Jackson hit 1-of-2 free throws which led to Smart making 2-of-2 free throws and it looked like Oklahoma State would finally hold on.
Then the unlikely happened with Baylor down four, as Franklin was left wide open in the corner with 19 seconds left, and not only hit a 3-pointer, but was fouled on the play by Forte for a four-point swing and tie game.
Forte drove into the lane with time winding down and was fouled by Deuce Bello before putting in the deciding points.
Jackson's three-point play seven-plus minutes into the second half capped off a 15-5 Baylor flurry to close the deficit to 47-39.
The Cowboys didn't settle for field goals, but rather free throws, allowing Baylor to sneak its way back into the contest. Oklahoma State had a streak from the 12:21 mark to 3:50 of the second half, in which its only points came from the charity stripe. The only field goals on each end of the streak were courtesy of Nash.
Baylor struggled throughout the first half as it managed just 24 points on 8- of-32 shooting -- including 0-for-13 from 3-point range.
"Joe Lunardi, we'll see what his final bracket says, because he's usually pretty good," Baylor coach Scott Drew said. "But I think with the committee -- I think a perfect example is VCU a couple of years ago, whenever it was, they went to the Final Four, and people were like, Why did they get in? Well, the committee knew they were a Final Four-type team."
Oklahoma State leads the all-time series with Baylor 53-19 and has a 11-1 mark on neutral courts ... Baylor shot 36.7 percent from the floor (22-of-60) compared to 45.8 percent (22-of-48) for Oklahoma State ... The Cowboys connected on 25-of-33 from the charity stripe ... Markel Brown and Cobbins had 11 and 10 points, respectively, for OSU.
03/15 01:37:23 ET