© St. Petersburg Times, published February 24, 2003
NORMAN, Okla. -- Oklahoma kept Kansas from running away with the Big 12, but it nearly got run down itself Sunday during a 77-70 victory.
Had No. 6 Kansas won, it would have had a two-game lead with four to play. Instead, No. 5 Oklahoma, which led by 32 points early in the second half, held on and pulled into a tie for first with Kansas at 10-2.
While Hollis Price and Quannas White were leading Oklahoma to a 47-26 halftime lead, Kansas forward Nick Collison, a Naismith Award candidate, was 1-of-9 from the field.
Kansas (20-6) then scored one during the first 41/2 minutes of the second half, and Oklahoma (19-4) pushed its lead to 59-27.
Keith Langford's 3-pointer with 15:26 left started a 21-5 run that got Kansas within 64-48. The Sooners led 70-54 before Kansas scored seven in a row to make it 70-61 with 2:47 left.
Price, who had made 36 consecutive free throws, missed two, and White missed two with 54 seconds left and Oklahoma up 72-66.
Collison missed from in close with 42 seconds left, and the Jayhawks turned it over six seconds later when an alley-oop from Aaron Miles to Collison hit the rim.
White followed with a free throw for a 73-66 lead, and a basket by Collison with 22 seconds left was as close as Kansas got.
"When you combine great defense with making shots, you're going to balloon a lead," Oklahoma coach Kelvin Sampson said. "With the kind of kids Kansas has, they're going to come back on you."
Jayhawks coach Roy Williams said he was not impressed with the comeback.
"We tried to play zone, and guys were going the wrong way. It was ridiculous," he said. "We haven't been playing well lately, and it caught up to us."
The biggest deficit overcome to win a game is 32 by Duke against Tulane on Dec. 30, 1950. The Blue Devils were down 54-22 late in the first half before winning 74-72.
NO. 2 KENTUCKY 70, NO. 19 MISSISSIPPI ST. 62: Keith Bogans had 18 points and seven rebounds as the host Wildcats extended the nation's longest active win streak to 16. The Bulldogs (17-6, 7-5 SEC) had won four in a row.
Marquis Estill's dunk with 10:10 left put the Wildcats (22-3, 12-0) up 58-42. But they missed eight consecutive shots and went nearly five minutes without scoring. Mario Austin scored twice inside, and Michael Ignerski made a 3-pointer during a 10-0 Bulldogs run.
Austin converted a three-point play with 5:13 left to cut the lead to 60-55. But that was as close as Mississippi State got in losing at Lexington for the 41st time in 45 games.
NO. 10 WAKE FOREST 75, VIRGINIA 71: Josh Howard scored 28 and Vytas Danelius 21 for the Demon Deacons. Wake Forest (19-4, 9-3 ACC) won its 15th consecutive home game and is a half-game ahead of Duke and Maryland in the conference.
Virginia coach Pete Gillen did not start leading scorer Travis Watson because of an undisclosed violation. Watson, who entered averaging 14 points and 11 rebounds, missed the first 10 minutes and finished with three points and four rebounds in 19 minutes.
Virginia (14-11, 5-8) took a 68-64 lead on Elton Brown's inside basket with 3:27 left. Wake Forest answered, getting a jumper from Howard and a runner from Justin Gray to tie it with 2:37 left. Gray put the Demon Deacons ahead to stay about a minute later. With three seconds on the shot clock, he took an inbounds pass, dribbled to his left and banked in a 3-pointer for a 71-68 lead.
NO. 15 SYRACUSE 76, MICHIGAN ST. 75: The Orangemen's Carmelo Anthony scored 25, and the Spartans missed three chances to win during the final 10 seconds. Michigan State's Chris Hill scored a career-high 34, including a school-record 10 3-pointers. But the Spartans (14-11) lost for the fifth time at home since 1998.
Down 67-61, Michigan State cut it to 76-75 with 37 seconds left on Alan Anderson's two free throws. The Spartans got the ball back after Billy Edelin missed a one-and-one for Syracuse (19-4). Kelvin Torbert missed a shot along the baseline. And after a scramble that included Adam Ballinger's tip toward the basket, Anderson missed an off-balance shot in the middle of the lane, and the ball bounced out of bounds as the horn sounded.