Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Oklahoma State survives Nebraska run, advances to face Kansas in Big 12 Tournament



Nebraska guard Brandon Richardson, right, tries to steal the ball from Oklahoma State guard Keiton Page (12) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in the first round of the Big 12 Men's Basketball tournament Wednesday, March 9, 2011 in Kansas City, Mo. Oklahoma State won the game 53-52.

— Endings like this make college basketball fun.

Oklahoma State's 30-percent foul shooter swishes two in a row in the final seconds. Then Keiton Page, the best free throw shooter in the conference, misses the front end of a 1-and-1 with 16 seconds to go, giving Nebraska a chance for one more shot.

But the Cornhuskers' Lance Jeter fell down under the bucket and Nebraska failed to put the ball up, enabling the Cowboys (19-12) to hold on for a 53-52 victory Wednesday in the first round of the Big 12 tournament.

Page did make two key 3-pointers and score 16 points to lead the Cowboys, who will meet top-seeded and No. 2 Kansas on Thursday in the second round.

"I was feeling horrible after that missed free throw," said Page, who hit 90.2 percent from the foul line and missed only five free throws throughout the Big 12 season. "But I had confidence in my teammates that we were going to come down and get a stop."

When Page missed, Nebraska grabbed the rebound. But Jeter, who led the Huskers with 17 points, fell down before he could shoot.

"I pretty much got tripped, but there was no call," Jeter said. "There shouldn't be, especially in the last seconds. You've got to make the play, and I didn't do that."

Page drilled 3-pointers on consecutive possessions to give the Cowboys the lead after Nebraska (19-12) had overcome horrific 22.6 percent first-half shooting and taken the lead against an Oklahoma State team that was almost equally as cold.

Toney McCray and Brandon Ubel each had 11 points for Nebraska while Marshall Moses had 10 for Oklahoma State, which improved to 9-0 in first-round Big 12 games.

With the loss, Nebraska's basketball program ended its tie to the Big 12, bringing a conclusion to an athletic association with some conference schools that stretched back more than a century. Next season, Nebraska joins the Big Ten.

"We had a shot at the last. They just made the play and we didn't," Nebraska coach Doc Sadler said. "Toney McCray was wide open, but Lance went in there to make the play like he did all year. But he just didn't make it."

Down by as many as 11 during a miserable first half, the Huskers finally got back even at 34-all on Ubel's bucket about 6 minutes into the second half.

Moses, in traffic, put the Cowboys on top 38-36 and then Ubel, a 6-foot-10 sophomore, drilled a 3-pointer and the Huskers took their first lead with 11:21 left.

Jeter hit a 3-pointer and a free throw, and the Huskers led 45-42. With 5:57 left, Jeter stole a pass and drove in. He missed a layup, but Caleb Walker was there for a putback, and the Huskers had their biggest lead at 48-44.

Page, a 30-percent 3-point shooter, then drilled back-to-back 3s and put the Cowboys ahead 50-48 with 3:52 to play. Moses, fighting for an offensive rebound, was fouled by Brandon Richardson and made one free throw to make it 51-48.

Brown's two foul shots raised Oklahoma State's lead to 53-50 before McCray's uncontested dunk sliced the lead to 53-52.

"I think Jeter is the key to their team," Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford said. "Every film I watched, he contributes to more than half the team's points. On that last possession, we put Nick (Sidorakis) on him, to get some size on him. We knew he would try to create something. We wanted to switch and not give him any angles. We did a great job on him."

Nebraska in the ragged first half made only 7-of-31 shots. The Huskers missed from both short and long range, making only 2 of 10 from behind the 3-point arc. McCray got a bucket off what appeared to be a banked dunk at the 12:37 mark, then Nebraska went almost five minutes without scoring until Jorge Brian Diaz scored on a goaltending call.


Stan Unruh 8 years, 9 months ago

This was one of the worst games I've seen all season. If OSU plays this poorly on Thursday, the Jayhawks will have an easy time. They might anyway.

KGphoto 8 years, 9 months ago

KU will smoke a tired Okie St. team. We've already seen their best. We've had time to gameplan. We're rested. They die.

jaybate 8 years, 9 months ago

Questions: Name the secret defense Kentucky played during Travis Ford's senior season with the Bilecats?

Answer: Box and dwarf.

KGphoto 8 years, 9 months ago

Travis Ford: 5'9". For those who aren't following.


jaybate 8 years, 9 months ago

"Some Ways You Know Travis Ford Is Shorter than He Claims""

~Is sometimes overshadowed by salt shakers.

~Thinks knee caps are the most beautiful part of a woman.

~Wife mistook him for an intruder when he appeared larger than normal size in her rear view mirror.

~Hopping birds routinely nest in his hair.

~Once tried to recruit a pygmie as a power forward.

~Can walk into most doll houses without bending over.

~Effortlessly watusis under toothpicks mounted on dimes.

~Believes Michael Dunn to be the greatest actor of all time.

~Refused admission by Little Persons International for failing to meet the minimum height requirement.

~Souls and heels on his dress shoes reportedly add 19 inches to his stature.

(Note: All fiction. No malice.)

KGphoto 8 years, 9 months ago

JB, do you think we'll see the box and dwarf tomorrow with Page?

jaybate 8 years, 9 months ago

Not unless the allow him to wear skates.

Andrew Dunlap 8 years, 9 months ago

well farewell to the children of the Korn

jaybate 8 years, 9 months ago

Anyone think it would be a good idea to rest Tyrel and Selby for the first game of the B12 tourney?

I do.

If we get beat, then they get to rest till Madness.

If we win, then at least they'll only have to go one game.

Let Royce play in these games. Get him some minutes.

Give TRob's knee a rest.

Play Little and Withey in these games as the first back-ups. Little deserves the minutes and he's proven he can deliver the last few weeks. Withey needs the work.

KGphoto 8 years, 9 months ago

Throw Withey, Little, EJ, Brady and Releford in a pot. Add 1/2 the Morrii and let simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the rest of the Morrii, a pinch of either TT or Selby (careful here, too much can spill and ruin everything.) and simmer another 20 minutes or until it wins.

For dessert we have healthy players in an NCAA Tournament De Jour.

Woody Cragg 8 years, 9 months ago

I believe of you rest the troops and lose you're still #1 in the South. Now, that said if you lose in the next game or final, prowess will be 2nd guessed. Said it yesterday & again now-rest Tyrel & TRob, or at least keep the minutes down for them and the twins. IMO it's a win, win. We've got lots of backup for basically, an unimportant game for the resume. Not to blow it off, but lets get some of these guys some much needed PT. Releford, Little, Withey, EJ, & Josh. Only takes one big to single Moses so limit their minutes to keep up the appetite.

superdave 8 years, 9 months ago

I don't know that rest will improve either of their injuries. I'm sure you'll see a lot of subbing and extended PT by guys like Little & Releford. I love the way EJ played the little pig-faced kid last time and look for more of the same tomorrow. Which is more surprising about the Perry Jones "incident": That he accepted improper benefits or the timing of that revelation? Why else would a guy with that talent go "study" under Drew?

superdave 8 years, 9 months ago

Oh, I forgot to mention that Lace will have a lot more scoring demands on him - what's the over/under on his shot attempts? 26 is my bet

KU_FanSince75 8 years, 9 months ago

I was hoping that O-State would knock off the Cornhuskers. I didn't see the game but if it was an awful game, then, KU should be in good shape, assuming we play our game. EJ----time to velcro "baby face Nelson"---uh, I mean, "baby face Page."

blindrabbit 8 years, 9 months ago

Congrats Cowboys; hopefully we will not have to hear anything more about the Huskers as they slink away to the Big10. Tired hearing about all the crying they demonstrated during the past several years in the Big12. They could never get up to par in basketball, and the domination of the South Division in football disrupted their fragile ego.

actorman 8 years, 9 months ago

A paraphrase of something Stephen Colbert said yesterday applies nicely to the end of NU's connection to the Big 12 and the continuation of their perfect record of having never won an NCAA tournament game: "See ya, wouldn't want to Huskabee ya."

okiedave 8 years, 9 months ago

Have the cornhuskers ever won a Big 8 or Big 12 championship?

REHawk 8 years, 9 months ago

Step up, Jeff Withey! Thursday presents a marvelous opportunity for you and Releford to shine. I like the idea of resting Tyrel, playing Thomas no more than 10 minutes, seeing what EJ and TT can do as they play more minutes together.

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