No. 6 Oklahoma State 62, UMKC 50

Thursday, December 20th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) _ Decent shooting might have given Missouri-Kansas City the breakthrough victory over a Top 10 team it so desperately wants.

But nobody hitting 28 percent from the floor is likely to beat a deep, experienced and well-coached team like No. 6 Oklahoma State. The Cowboys (11-0), had built a 19-point lead before the Kangaroos (6-2) started finding the mark Wednesday night and ignited their second-biggest crowd ever (8,643).

The 13-0 run gave the Kangaroos hope for the future and salved a little pride. But it wasn't enough to stop Oklahoma State and high-scoring guard Maurice Baker from taking home a 62-50 victory.

``This is a game we can build on,'' said UMKC's Marcus Golson. ``We know what we have to work on. Unfortunately, our shots weren't falling tonight.''

Baker, scoreless in the first half, scored 22 in the second and almost personally stopped UMKC's second-half push. Oddly, in his previous game against Northwestern State on Saturday night, Baker had scored all 22 of his points in the first half.

``Mo is like a heat radiator,'' said teammate Victor Williams. ``Push the button and he gets hot.''

After Baker drilled a 3-pointer and then followed with a driving basket for a 46-27 Oklahoma State lead, the cold-shooting Kangaroos started to hit.

From 10:27 to 4:44, UMKC outscored the visitors 13-0, led by Michael Watson.

When Andre Williams fouled out with 5:08 left and Michael Jackson sank two free throws, the Cowboys' lead melted to 46-40.

But then Baker took charge, hitting a driving layup, converting a three-point play, and then drilling a long 3-pointer a moment later to put the Cowboys on top 54-44.

The Kangaroos, who lost by 11 points at No. 3 Kansas two weeks earlier, shot just 28 percent.

``There was a different feeling in that locker room at halftime tonight than there was at Kansas,'' said UMKC coach Rich Zvosec. ``There was a feeling tonight that we could really win this game.''

Victor Williams had 10 points for Oklahoma State, 11-0 for the second time since 1997-98.

Watson and Golson had 14 points apiece for the Kangaroos. Michael Jackson added 11.

``I challenged (Baker),'' said Oklahoma State coach Eddie Sutton. ``He got 22 in the first half of the last game and he got 22 in the second half of this game. I guess he's a good listener.''

The Kangaroos had just 13 turnovers to 19 for Oklahoma State.

``We had good looks, but our shots weren't falling,'' said UMKC's Will Palmer.