Sunday, March 23, 2003

Midwest: Little-known Novak burns Mizzou

Marquette frosh hits big 3s for Golden Eagles

The Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS - Marquette's Steve Novak was an unknown freshman when he entered Saturday's game with 19.7 seconds to go in regulation.

He left Indianapolis as the perfect complement.

Novak made three 3-pointers and the Golden Eagles hit all of their shots in overtime to pull away from Missouri 101-92 and reach the Midwest Regional semifinals.

"It was the Steve Novak show," Marquette coach Tom Crean said.

For Novak, a Wisconsin native, the storyline read like a movie script.

He came into the game only after starting forward Robert Jackson fouled out, and he scored nine of his 14 points in the final five minutes to lead the third-seeded Golden Eagles (25-5) into the round of 16 for the first time since 1994.

It's only the second time Marquette has advanced beyond the second round since Al McGuire coached the team to the 1977 national championship. The Golden Eagles will face either Indiana or Pittsburgh on Thursday in Minneapolis.

"Steve had good matchups. We felt he could guard inside at that point," Crean said. "We felt it would be a little tougher to guard him."

Novak proved it after Travis Diener and Dwyane Wade did most of the work for the first 40 minutes. Diener finished with 26 points and five 3-pointers, while Wade had 24 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.

Their performances offset Missouri's one-two punch of Rickey Paulding and Arthur Johnson. Paulding scored 36 points and made nine 3-pointers, both career highs, while Johnson added 28 points and 18 rebounds.

But the reason the Tigers (22-11) didn't reach the regional semifinals for the third straight year was Novak, virtually ignored by Missouri.

"You don't want Diener and Wade to have a chance to beat you," Tigers coach Quin Snyder said. "Novak just came up big."

His catch-and-shoot 3-pointer from the left wing just 21 seconds into overtime broke an 80-80 tie. His second, 44 seconds later and almost from the same spot, broke an 83-all tie. The third, with 2:03 to go, gave Marquette a 93-89 lead and a boost of confidence. Novak's teammates followed his lead.

Marquette made six straight shots from the field and all six free throws in overtime, then finished off the Tigers by holding them scoreless for a decisive 2:01 stretch.

"It's tough to beat a team when they're hitting their shots and playing like that," Paulding said.

MISSOURI (22-11)-Bryant 0-6 0-0 0, Paulding 11-20 5-7 36, Johnson 10-17 8-10 28, Clemons 2-15 0-0 5, McKinney 2-6 0-0 5, Young 2-2 0-0 4, Kroenke 4-6 2-2 14, Ferguson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 31-72 15-19 92.

MARQUETTE (25-5)-Townsend 0-1 0-0 0, Merritt 8-11 2-3 18, R.Jackson 2-7 4-4 8, Wade 9-23 6-6 24, Diener 8-12 5-5 26, Bradley 1-1 0-0 3, Novak 4-4 2-2 14, Chapman 2-2 0-0 6, Grimm 0-0 0-0 0, Sanders 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 35-62 19-20 101.

Halftime-Marquette 41-31. Regulation-80-80. 3-Point Goals-Missouri 15-36 (Paulding 9-15, Kroenke 4-6, McKinney 1-3, Clemons 1-10, Bryant 0-2), Marquette 12-18 (Diener 5-8, Novak 4-4, Chapman 2-2, Bradley 1-1, Townsend 0-1, Wade 0-2). Fouled out-Bryant, R.Jackson. Rebounds-Missouri 38 (Johnson 18), Marquette 33 (R.Jackson, Wade 8). Assists-Missouri 19 (Clemons 7), Marquette 18 (Wade 7). Total fouls-Missouri 17, Marquette 20. A-25,767.

Injured Owens saves Wisconsin vs. Tulsa

SPOKANE, Wash. - It was unknown whether Freddie Owens would even play until he stepped on the court Saturday.

Good thing for Wisconsin he was available, because Owens rescued the Badgers.

Owens swished a 3-pointer with one second to play, capping a late rally and lifting fifth-seeded Wisconsin to a 61-60 victory over No. 13 Tulsa to move the Badgers into the Midwest Regional semifinals.

The Badgers (23-7), making a school-record fifth straight NCAA appearance, advanced to play Thursday in Minneapolis against the winner of today's game in Nashville, Tenn., between Kentucky and Utah.

Wisconsin fans chanted, "Freddie, Freddie," as Owens did a courtside radio interview. Owens sprained his right ankle in Wisconsin's opening-round win over Weber State, and his status was unclear until tipoff.

Mike Wilkinson had 18 points and eight rebounds for Wisconsin, while Devin Harris scored 12 and Alando Tucker 10. The Badgers survived despite a six-point effort by their best player, Kirk Penney. Kevin Johnson scored 23 points and Jason Parker had 17 for Tulsa (23-10).

The Badgers, in a daze for the first 36 minutes, rallied with a 13-0 run to pull to 60-58 when Harris drove for a layup with 48.2 seconds to play. Tucker sparked the comeback, scoring four points and forcing a turnover.

When Parker missed the rim on a runner, the shot clock violation gave possession back to Wisconsin. After a timeout with 12.1 seconds to go, Harris dribbled upcourt and found Owens wide open in the left corner.

TULSA (23-10)-Davis 4-7 1-1 9, Johnson 11-18 0-0 23, Swanson 3-12 0-0 6, Glenn 0-2 0-0 0, Parker 6-15 3-3 17, Collins 0-1 0-0 0, Ledoux 1-2 0-0 2, Price 1-2 1-1 3. Totals 26-59 5-5 60.

WISCONSIN (24-7)-Tucker 3-9 3-5 10, Wilkinson 7-11 3-3 18, Penney 2-12 2-4 6, Owens 2-6 1-2 7, Harris 5-11 0-1 12, Wade 3-7 2-2 8, Hanson 0-0 0-0 0, Helmigk 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 22-57 11-17 61.

Halftime-Tulsa 32, Wisconsin 25. 3-Point Goals-Tulsa 3-11 (Parker 2-3, Johnson 1-3, Swanson 0-5), Wisconsin 6-22 (Owens 2-4, Harris 2-7, Wilkinson 1-2, Tucker 1-3, Wade 0-1, Penney 0-5). Fouled out-None. Rebounds-Tulsa 41 (Davis, Johnson 9), Wisconsin 32 (Wilkinson 8). Assists-Tulsa 12 (Swanson 4), Wisconsin 12 (Owens, Penney 4). Total fouls-Tulsa 16, Wisconsin 11. A-11,271.

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