K-State, OU Lose

Friday, November 30th 2007, 8:08 am
By: News On 6

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) - Kansas State had a final chance, trailing by three points with the ball in Andre Gilbert's hands. Instead of attempting a 3-pointer, Gilbert inexplicably started driving to the basket. The crowd roared, urging the junior guard not to shoot. Realizing his error, Gilbert tried to kick the ball out to a teammate. Too late. The buzzer sounded before the ball got to its destination.

Yes, experience can make a huge difference.

Bryce Taylor scored 11 of his 18 points after halftime and No. 17 Oregon made all the key plays down the stretch, holding off No. 25 Kansas State 80-77 in overtime Thursday night.

``It certainly did, being on the road and keeping your composure, it was experience in this environment,'' Oregon coach Ernie Kent said. ``It's tough to play on the road in an environment like this.''

Gilbert's mistake wasn't the difference in the game, but it certainly exemplified the difference between the teams.

Oregon (6-1), despite losing leading scorer Aaron Brooks to the NBA, has four of its five starters back from a team that won the Pac-10 tournament and reached the NCAA's round of eight.

Kansas State (5-2), though filled with potential, has three freshmen starters and just three seniors. The Wildcats rode the momentum of the crowd to a great start, but faded down the stretch with miscues, both mental and physical.

``There's a reason why IBM doesn't go out and hire 18-year-old high school graduates,'' Kansas State coach Frank Martin said. ``They go out and hire guys that graduated from college, and there's a reason for that.''

In other games involving ranked teams on Thursday, it was; No. 19 Gonzaga 70, Saint Joseph's 65 in overtime; and No. 22 Southern California 66, Oklahoma 55.

Oregon had never, in its 105-year history, been in this position: on the road, facing a ranked opponent outside its conference.

Facing a ranked nonconference opponent for the first time in five years, Oregon came out flat, missing open shots; 3-for-15 from 3-point range in the first half. But the Ducks settled down late in the half, hit some big shots down the stretch in regulation, then finished it off by overpowering the Wildcats in overtime.

Maarty Neunen had 14 points and 14 rebounds, Joevan Catron had 15 points and Tajuan Porter added 14 for Oregon.

``It just turned out to be a great road win for us because this is a team that's still in transition, trying to find which man or men is going to be that Aaron Brooks,'' Kent said.

Kansas State hadn't faced a ranked nonconference opponent at home since 2000, and Manhattan hadn't seen two ranked teams on the same court since No. 1 Missouri beat 14th-ranked Kansas State by one in 1982.

The Wildcats, ranked this year for the first time since 1993, slowed down the high-scoring Ducks to take an early 10-point lead. But Kansas State struggled from the perimeter, 8-for-27 from 3-point range, and missed four free throws in overtime, finishing 5-for-12 from the line.

``If you want to be a good team, you have to make free throws in the end,'' said Kansas State's Clent Stewart, who had 10 points.

Oregon took just seven 3-point shots in the first half, making two, and managed 29 points; 14 below its average.

The Ducks started to turn it around midway through the second half, with Taylor hitting two 3-pointers and Porter dropping in another during an 11-2 run that put them up 66-60. Freshman Michael Beasley, who had 24 points and 14 rebounds, hit Blake Young on a fast break, then split two defenders for a bank shot that put Kansas State up 67-66.

``We struggled a little to get going, but we pulled it off in the end,'' Porter said. ``It was a great win. It means to a lot to us.''

  • No. 19 Gonzaga 70, Saint Joseph's 65, OT

Matt Bouldin scored 16 points, including a key 3-pointer late in regulation and the go-ahead free throws in overtime, for the visiting Bulldogs (6-1). Austin Daye scored 17 points and David Pendergraft had 13 for Gonzaga.

Pat Calathes had 24 points and Ahmad Nivins added 14 for the Hawks (3-2), who trailed by 17 points in the first half. Tasheed Carr, a 55 percent free-throw shooter, made two from the line to tie the game at 59 with 10.3 seconds left in regulation.

Nivins missed two free throws with 1:32 left in overtime and the game tied at 61. Bouldin made two at the line on the next possession and Daye's jumper gave the Bulldogs a four-point lead.

  • No. 22 Southern California 66, Oklahoma 55

Davon Jefferson scored 23 points and fellow freshman O.J. Mayo scored 11 of his 18 when the Trojans (6-1) pulled away for the home win. Mayo scored 11 consecutive points beginning with 6:48 remaining as USC opened a 60-48 lead with 3:35 to play.

Keith Clark and Austin Johnson both had 13 points for the Sooners (5-2), who shot 36 percent from the field.