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NCAA - Midwest

Force with young Eagle

Freshman hits three 3s in overtime to lead Marquette past Missouri 101-92.

©Associated Press

March 23, 2003


INDIANAPOLIS -- Marquette's Steve Novak was an unknown freshman when he entered Saturday's game with 19.7 seconds left 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 Region semifinals.

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

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

It's the second time Marquette has advanced beyond the second round since Al McGuire coached the team to the 1977 national championship.

Some Marquette players celebrated by dancing, but Jackson grabbed Novak and gave him a big hug near midcourt.

"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, and Wade had 24 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.

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

But the reason the Tigers (22-11) didn't reach the region semifinals for the third straight year was Novak.

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

WISCONSIN 61, TULSA 60: It was unknown whether Freddie Owens would play until he stepped on the court.

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

Owens' 3-pointer with one second to play capped a late rally and lifted fifth-seeded Wisconsin over No. 13 Tulsa in Spokane, Wash.

Badgers 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.

Mike Wilkinson had 18 points and eight rebounds for the Badgers (23-7). Devin Harris scored 12 and Alando Tucker 10.

Kevin Johnson scored 23 and Jason Parker had 17 for Tulsa (23-10), the lowest-seeded team to advance past the first round.

The Golden Hurricane was in control, leading 58-45 with 4:08 to play.

But Wisconsin rallied with an 11-0 run to pull to 58-56. After Johnson scored for Tulsa, Harris drove for a layup with 48.2 seconds left to make it 60-58. Tucker sparked the comeback, scoring four and forcing a turnover.

When Parker missed the rim on a runner, the shot clock violation gave possession to the Badgers. After a timeout with 12.1 seconds to go, Harris dribbled upcourt and found Owens open in the left corner. Owens was 4-of-16 in the tournament until making the winner.

Tulsa took a timeout to set up a final play, but Jarius Glenn stepped over the baseline. That touched off a celebration on the Wisconsin sideline, capped when Owens took the ensuing inbound pass and threw the ball into the air.

He was mobbed by teammates as Tulsa players walked dejectedly off the court.

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