Texas, Kansas, Missouri win _ and so does Kansas State

Friday, February 20th 2004, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Eleventh-ranked Texas recovered from a turnover-prone first half for an easy victory over Texas A&M, No. 21 Kansas avoided a third-straight defeat while Missouri won its third in a row, and No. 22 Texas Tech was one of six nationally ranked college basketball teams to lose Wednesday night.

But perhaps the emotional highlight of the night in the Big 12 was provided by Kansas State, which won a last-second nail-biter from Nebraska, a 63-58 victory that was the Wildcats' first on the road in the conference in nearly three years.

In an unlikely finish at Lincoln, Neb., Tim Ellis gave the Wildcats a 59-58 lead with 2.6 seconds remaining, then hit four straight free throws with less than a second on the clock. Ellis led Kansas State (12-10, 4-7 Big 12) with 25 points as the Wildcats ended a string of 21 straight conference road losses. The last time they won away from home in the Big 12 was March 3, 2001, when they beat Colorado 72-67.

Kansas State had gone 16 games without any kind of a win on the road, dating to a 79-66 victory at Wichita State on Dec. 14, 2002.

In other Big 12 games Wednesday, Texas got four 3-pointers in the second half from reserve guard Kenny Taylor in a 77-57 win over Texas A&M, Wayne Simien had 24 points as Kansas beat an unexpectedly tough Baylor 74-54, Missouri stopped Iowa State 82-70 and David Harrison had 24 points and 10 rebounds as Colorado upset Texas Tech 85-75.

Kansas State trailed 58-57 when Jeremiah Massey was fouled with 4.5 seconds to play. He missed the first shot, and then, after a Nebraska time out, the second, but teammate Marques Hayden got a hand on the ball and Ellis tipped it in to give the Wildcats a one-point lead.

A bad pass by Nebraska gave the ball back to the Wildcats. Husker coach Barry Collier was called for a technical at the same time Elllis was fouled with one tenth of a second remaining.

Ellis made all four free throws to give Kansas State the five point victory.

``I don't think anyone in their wildest dreams could have predicted how the game was going to finish,'' said Kansas State coach Jim Woolridge. ``We have a very good free-throw shooter up there. He misses two free throws and we get a rebound and put back. That's winning the game in a dramatic way.''

``The monkey's off our back,'' Ellis said. ``It feels real good. We fought so hard to get this. It wasn't a monkey. It was a big gorilla.''

Nate Johnson had 17 for Nebraska (14-8, 4-7) and Corey Sims and Andrew Drevo added 10 points each.

No. 11 Texas 77, Texas A&M 57

Texas (18-4, 9-2) stayed within a game of league-leading and seventh-ranked Oklahoma State with the victory at home against Texas A&M.

Brandon Mouton led the Longhorns with 20 points and Taylor had 18.

Jesse King had 12 points and nine rebounds for A&M (7-15, 0-11), which has lost 11 straight to fuel speculation that coach Melvin Watkins' job is on the line.

Texas hit 12 of its first 16 shots to take a 29-19 lead, and it would have been more if not for eight turnovers. The miscues kept A&M close, and the Aggies held Texas scoreless over the final 3:31 as the Longhorns missed their final seven shots before the half ended with Texas leading 29-24.

Texas turned it over on its first two possessions of the second half and Acie Law scored eight straight points as the Aggies pulled to 33-32 but couldn't take the lead. Texas finally started to take better care of the ball and the shots began falling again. The Horns committed just three more turnovers in the final 18 minutes.

No. 21 Kansas 74, Baylor 54

Nine minutes into the second half at Lawrence, Kansas looked like it might follow one of the worst weeks in its history with one of its biggest upset losses. The Jayhawks had lost on the road last week to Oklahoma State and Nebraska, and they were struggling against Baylor before a home crowd.

Then J.R. Giddens hit two 3-pointers to start a 17-4 run and send the Jayhawks and their relieved fans to the win.

Kansas led by only 39-37 after Baylor's Carl Marshall hit a six-footer in the lane. But with several players in foul trouble and only six scholarship athletes available, the Bears finally began to wilt after the Jayhawks' offense got going.

Keith Langford had 19 points and Giddens 15 for the Jayhawks (16-6, 8-3 Big 12). Terrance Thomas had 15 for the Bears (7-17, 2-9.)

Missouri 82, Iowa State 70

In beating Iowa State at Columbia, Missouri won a third straight game for the first time since winning the first three games of the season. The victory pulled the Tigers (12-10, 6-5) into a three-way tie with Oklahoma and Texas Tech for fourth place in the conference.

Arthur Johnson had 16 points, 11 rebounds and three steals to lead Missouri. Jimmy McKinney had 21 points and Rickey Paulding 19 for the Tigers (12-10, 6-5 Big 12), whose last three-game winning streak came against Oakland, Coppin State and Indiana from Nov. 29-Dec. 6.

The Tigers, attempting to rescue their season after being ranked as high as No. 3 in mid-December, fought off a second-half charge from Iowa State (14-8, 5-6) and overcame 23 turnovers to send the Cyclones to their 22nd consecutive conference road loss.

Curtis Stinson had 18 points, seven assists and six rebounds and Jake Sullivan had 17 points for Iowa State. But the Cyclones' big men, Jackson Vroman and Jared Homan, were in foul trouble throughout.

Colorado 85, No. 22 Texas Tech 75

In addition to his 24 points, the 7-foot Harrison had seven blocked shots, two assists and a steal in the Colorado victory over Texas Tech, and teammate Michel Morandais added 22 points.

Colorado (14-8, 6-5 Big 12) used runs of 9-2 and 15-6 to hold off the Red Raiders in the second half.

Texas Tech (18-7, 6-5) was led by Devonne Giles with 18 points and 18 rebounds, and Andre Emmett, who scored 16. The Red Raiders have lost five of their last seven games.

Emmett entered the game needing 19 points to tie the Big 12 career scoring record, held by Kansas' Nick Collison at 2,097.