Tuesday, January 28, 2003

KU holds off Longhorns

College basketball roundup

The Associated Press

LAWRENCE, Kan. - Nick Collison was not about to let Kansas' first three-game losing streak in nine years occur on his watch.

So the senior center had the best game of his college career, scoring 24 points and grabbing 23 rebounds as No. 12 Kansas held on for a wild 90-87 victory over No. 3 Texas Monday night.

"I just made up my mind that I was going to be very aggressive," said Collison, who fouled out with a little more than 1 minute left. "We really needed a win. We really needed a lot of rebounds against a big, physical Texas team. I think it might be my best game."

Coach Roy Williams was sure that it was.

"I don't know if I've ever seen a person be so relentless on the backboard as Nick Collison was," Williams said. "If those NBA scouts sitting over there tonight say there's anybody in the world with a bigger heart, then they're just blind."

Students stormed the court, stomping and yelling after the Jayhawks (14-5, 4-1 Big 12) halted the eight-game winning streak of the Longhorns (13-3, 4-1).

"They didn't go completely crazy," Williams said. "I just wanted to get to the locker room so I could dance a little bit."

Michael Lee made two free throws with 29 seconds left and Texas missed two 3-pointers in the final seconds, including one by point guard T.J. Ford who had 25 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists.

His 3-pointer at the buzzer was barely short.

"It looked like it was going in," he said. "I thought it was going to go into overtime."

Kirk Hinrich had 25 points for the Jayhawks. After Kansas' Keith Langford missed two free throws with 10 seconds to go, Texas hurried down the court for the ill-fated 3's.

Texas coach Rick Barnes said the Longhorns did not do a good job on Collison.

"Twenty-three rebounds, that is huge coming from one guy," he said. "He did that single-handedly."

During the final minutes of the back-and-forth contest, Brandon Mouton's short jumper brought Texas to 84-82. Then, with 2:05 to go, Aaron Miles hit from the outside before Ford drove the lane with 1:37 left.

When Collison fouled out, James Thomas made one free throw that left the Jayhawks clinging to an 88-85 lead.

Then after a Kansas miss, Mouton turned the ball over to the Jayhawks, who inbounded with 29 seconds left.

Lee was fouled immediately and sank both foul shots.

"They made tough shots," Ford said. "This is how it is every time against Kansas. Tonight, the game was really up and down."

After Jeff Graves picked up his fifth foul, Thomas hit two free throws that made it 90-87 with 16 seconds left.

After getting to within one or two points four times, the Jayhawks finally took a 79-78 lead when Collison canned a long 3-pointer with 6:07 to go.

A moment later, he grabbed a Texas miss for his 20th rebound and Hinrich fed Miles for a fast-break layup that made it 81-78.

Brian Boddicker, in foul trouble much of the second half, had a career-high 20 points for the Longhorns. Mouton had 14 and Thomas 10.

"I just wanted to play as hard as I could," Collison said. "If I got tired, I was going to come out for a while and come back and play as hard again."

TEXAS (13-3)-Thomas 1-4 8-10 10, Buckman 2-4 0-1 4, Mouton 6-14 2-2 14, Ford 8-23 8-11 25, Ivey 3-6 0-0 6, Harris 0-2 0-0 0, Klotz 4-8 0-2 8, Ross 0-0 0-0 0, Boddicker 6-9 2-2 20. Totals 30-70 20-28 87.

KANSAS (14-5)-Collison 9-20 5-6 24, Graves 1-4 3-3 5, Langford 5-13 0-2 10, Hinrich 7-14 8-11 25, Miles 7-14 0-0 15, Hawkins 0-0 0-0 0, Lee 1-1 2-2 4, Nash 2-2 2-3 7, Niang 0-0 0-1 0. Totals 32-68 20-28 90.

Halftime-Texas 48-43. 3-Point goals-Texas 7-16 (Boddicker 6-9, Ford 1-4, Mouton 0-1, Harris 0-2), Kansas 6-18 (Hinrich 3-6, Nash 1-1, Collison 1-2, Miles 1-6, Langford 0-3). Fouled out-Collison, Graves Rebounds-Texas 45 (Thomas 14), Kansas 43 (Collison 23). Assists-Texas 15 (Ford 10), Kansas 17 (Miles 9). Total fouls-Texas 21, Kansas 23. A-16,300.

Connecticut 74, St. John's 68

NEW YORK - There were two plays that drew almost all the attention after No. 14 Connecticut beat St. John's 74-68 Monday night to snap a three-game road losing streak.

Neither was a high-wire, highlight reel dunk. Neither was a behind-the-back pass that draws oohs and aahs.

Both were rebounds - by one of the smallest players on the court.

Ben Gordon had 23 points, six assists and six rebounds, including those two big ones, to lead the Huskies.

"Can you believe those plays he makes? Diving on the floor, making a pass from there. He gets us a seven-point lead with them," Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun said of the 6-foot-2 sophomore who leads the Huskies in scoring at 21.3 points per game.

Marcus Hatten made two free throws with 7:41 left to get the Red Storm to 57-55. Gordon missed a 3-pointer on the next possession but dived to the floor, got control of the loose ball and passed to Emeka Okafor, who hit a short hook shot.

After each team failed to score on its next possession, Hatten missed a 3-pointer as the shot clock ran out and Gordon emerged from a cluster of players under the basket with the rebound. He drove the length of the floor and missed a shot, but Shamon Tooles grabbed the rebound and was fouled. His three-point play gave Connecticut a 62-55 lead with 5:44 to go.

St. John's never got closer than five points the rest of the way.

"That's UConn basketball," Gordon said of the rebounds that turned the game. "Coach Calhoun has gotten his teams to do that for years. I'm not always going to be helping with my offense. It will sometimes be the little things, rebounding, playing defense. That was the difference tonight, a big play when we needed one."

Okafor had 21 points, 13 rebounds and six blocked shots for the Huskies (13-3, 4-1 Big East), who improved to 2-3 on the road this season and snapped a three-game losing streak to St. John's at Madison Square Garden.

Hatten had 26 points for the Red Storm (10-6, 3-3), who had won two straight and five of seven.

"Tough, tough, tough, tough. It's always tough to lose one like that," St. John's coach Mike Jarvis said. "I thought we would do a lot of things better than we did. It came down to things like loose balls. A tough game. A tough game."

Gordon was 9-for-18 from the field, including 1-for-5 from 3-point range as the Huskies, who lead the conference in 3-point shooting at 39.8 percent, finished 3-for-11 from beyond the arc.

Okafor, who was 10-for-14 from the field and led the Huskies to a 45-35 rebound advantage, couldn't say enough about Gordon's big plays.

"They were not only worth two points but they were a morale boost," he said. "This was a great road win."

Hatten, who entered averaging 22.4 points but was coming off a season-low nine in a win over Virginia Tech on Saturday, was 9-for-23 from the field with eight assists.

Hatten, a second-year senior, has 1,006 points in his career.

"We came out aggressive and attacked the basket," Hatten said. "We had been coming out and playing passive and getting down."

Anthony Glover had 17 points and nine rebounds for the Red Storm, who shot 35.1 percent (26-for-74) and missed 10 consecutive shots at one point in the second half as Connecticut took a 64-57 lead.

Connecticut's previous road loss was at Miami last Monday night, when the Huskies allowed five points over the final five seconds in a one-point defeat.

"That loss gave us a sense of urgency," Okafor said. "Now we know every play will count and mistakes will be punished."

CONNECTICUT (13-3, 4-1 Big East)-Armstrong 1-4 0-0 2, D.Brown 4-4 0-0 9, Okafor 10-14 1-2 21, T.Brown 1-1 2-2 4, Gordon 9-18 4-5 23, Robertson 3-8 1-4 7, Hayes 1-1 0-0 2, Anderson 1-6 0-0 3, Tooles 1-2 1-1 3. Totals 31-58 9-14 74.

ST. JOHN'S (10-6, 3-3)-Glover 7-18 2-4 17, King 3-4 1-3 7, Cuffe 1-11 0-0 2, Hatten 9-23 7-8 26, Ingram 0-4 0-0 0, Smith 0-0 0-0 0, Reynolds 3-7 2-4 8, Shaw 3-7 0-0 8, Keita 0-0 0-0 0, Doyle 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 26-74 12-19 68.

Halftime-UConn 36-29. 3-Point goals-Connecticut 3-11 (D.Brown 1-1, Gordon 1-5, Anderson 1-5), St. John's 4-13 (Shaw 2-4, Glover 1-2, Hatten 1-4, Cuffe 0-1, Ingram 0-2). Fouled out-None. Rebounds-Connecticut 45 (Okafor 13), St. John's 35 (Glover 9). Assists-Connecticut 15 (Gordon 6), St. John's 14 (Hatten 8). Total fouls-Connecticut 17, St. John's 15. A-12,010.


MIAMI REDHAWKS: Sophomore forward Danny Horace (Western Hills) earned Mid-American Conference East Division player of the week honors after leading Miami to its first three-game winning streak since last season.

MISS. VALLEY STATE: Starting guard Michael Archie was paralyzed by a stray bullet fired in a Itta Bena, Miss., nightclub shootout.

Archie was hit in the side early Sunday in a shooting that also left a man dead and wounded two others, including Mississippi Valley State volleyball player Danielle France. Gunshots were fired inside the nightclub after a fight broke out, Leflore County Sheriff Ricky Banks said.

NEW MEXICO: Senior point guard Senque Carey was listed in good condition following surgery for a spinal cord injury that left his legs paralyzed for two weeks.

UTEP: El Paso police arrested Miners coach Billy Gillispie on Sunday and charged him with driving while intoxicated. It's Gillispie's first season at UTEP.

Gillispie coached UTEP (4-12, 2-5 Western Athletic) to a 85-78 overtime win over Boise State on Saturday. He replaced Jason Rabedeaux, who resigned for personal reasons less than three weeks before the team's first game.

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