English sparks MU to Sweet 16 berth

Missouri guard Kim English (24) puts up a shot over the reach of Marquette guard Jerel McNeal. English came off the bench to score 17 points in Missouri’s 83-79 victory over Marquette on Sunday in Boise, Idaho.

Missouri guard Kim English (24) puts up a shot over the reach of Marquette guard Jerel McNeal. English came off the bench to score 17 points in Missouri’s 83-79 victory over Marquette on Sunday in Boise, Idaho.

Monday, March 23, 2009

— Four unbelievable minutes. Two gargantuan free throws.

Freshman Kim English came off the bench to “pinch shoot” for the hurting J.T. Tiller and made two free throws with 5.5 seconds left Sunday to give Missouri the go-ahead points in an 83-79 victory over Marquette.

It was quite an encore for English, who had an out-of-body 41⁄2-minute shooting spree in the first half, scoring 15 points and helping third-seeded Mizzou (30-6) turn a six-point deficit into a 16-point lead.

English was on the bench for most of the second half, watching sixth-seeded Marquette chip away at the lead and eventually go ahead. But when Tiller fell hard after being fouled with the score tied at 79, coach Mike Anderson took advantage of the college rule that allows teams to substitute for an injured free-throw shooter.

He chose English, who made both and finished with 17 points.

Marquette’s Lazar Hayward stepped over the baseline on the ensuing inbounds pass, and the Golden Eagles were forced to foul. Leo Lyons made two free throws to ice the game, and Missouri moved on to face Memphis in the Sweet 16.

Marquette’s Jerel McNeal matched his career high with 30 points.