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Saturday, March 11, 2006

Rush struggles

OSU's Dove stifles freshman star

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— Oklahoma State's Marcus Dove was not named to the Big 12 Conference's all-defensive team. Brandon Rush didn't get to vote. Otherwise, Dove might have made it.

An offensively challenged 6-foot-9 forward, Dove averages four points a game and was scoreless in 24 minutes of Kansas University's 63-62 victory over OSU to advance to today's semifinal round of the Big 12 tournament.

Still, Dove made a big impact on Rush and on the game.

Rush, averaging 14.1 points per game coming into Friday night, was limited to six points, largely because of Dove, who is three inches taller than Rush.

"He's a really good defensive player," Rush said of Dove. "He's real long, and he's quick. He uses his feet real well. He made it tough for me."

A first-team All-Big 12 selection by the coaches and a second-teamer by the Associated Press, Rush took just six shots from the field and made two of them.

In the first matchup against Oklahoma State, Rush scored 12 points and took just nine shots from the field.

"Oklahoma State plays defense different than most college teams," Rush said.

Rush had four turnovers the first time the teams met, three turnovers Friday.

Against today's surprise semifinal opponent, Nebraska, Rush had one good shooting game and one bad one.

In the first game, a 96-54 blowout victory in Allen Fieldhouse, Rush made seven of 11 field-goal attempts, including three of four three-pointers, and contributed 17 points, nine rebounds and two blocked shots.

In the rematch, a KU proved it could win big without a big scoring night from Rush. He made just three of 11 field goals and scored six points in a 69-48 victory in the Devaney Center.

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