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College basketball

Big 12 goes to the Cowboys

By Wire services
Published March 2, 2004

STILLWATER, Okla. - Joey Graham scored 20, including a thunderous dunk on an alley-oop pass from John Lucas seconds before the buzzer, helping No.8 Oklahoma State claim a share of its first Big 12 title with a 76-67 victory Monday night over 10th-ranked Texas.

"I just kind of wanted to seal it off with a kiss," Graham said.

The Cowboys (23-3, 13-2) earned the top seed in the conference tournament and their first league title since the 1990-91 Big Eight title, coach Eddie Sutton's first season at his alma mater.

OSU must beat Texas A&M, winless in 14 league games, to win the outright title.

Lucas, who finished with 14 points and seven assists, hit a layup with 44.4 seconds left that put Oklahoma State up 71-67. Ivan McFarlin followed that by chasing down Brandon Mouton and making a stunning block on a breakaway layup.

Sutton passed Kansas' Phog Allen to move into ninth place on the all-time coaching victories list with 747.

The Longhorns (21-5, 12-3) dropped to second place in the Big 12 but still are assured of a first-round bye in the league tournament.

NO.7 UCONN 89, SETON HALL 67: Emeka Okafor likely closed out his career at home with 25 points and 15 rebounds. Okafor, AP's preseason player of the year, was honored along with the Huskies' seniors because he will graduate in May and although he hasn't announced he will leave early for the NBA, he should be one of the first picks in the draft.

"It was something to remember," he said of his final home game. "I was thinking of previous seniors and then it was my turn."

The win gave the Huskies (24-5, 12-3) sole possession of first place in the Big East for one day. In a matchup of the teams tied with UConn when the night started, No.3 Pittsburgh is at No.12 Providence tonight.

N. IOWA 68, NO.15 S. ILLINOIS 52: Matt Schneiderman and David Gruber scored 16 points each as the host Panthers ruined the Salukis' bid to finish unbeaten in the Missouri Valley Conference. Northern Iowa was the sharper team from the start in the regular-season finale and never trailed. The Panthers held off the only run by Southern Illinois (24-3, 17-1) after halftime and led by as many as 21 in their third win this season over a Top 25 team.

NO.14 UNC: Guard Raymond Felton and swingman Jackie Manuel are questionable for tonight's game against Clemson. Felton injured his right big toe in Sunday's win at North Carolina State. Manuel missed the game after spraining his right ankle in practice.

NO.16 N.C. STATE: Guard Scooter Sherrill is "very doubtful" for the Wolfpack's game against Maryland on Wednesday due to a sprained left ankle, the team announced.

Elsewhere

S.C. STATE 75, FAMU 66: Thurman Zimmerman had 39 points and 12 rebounds to lead the visiting Bulldogs. Terrence Woods led the Rattlers (11-15, 10-7 MEAC) with 20 points.

MID. TENN. 60, FIU: Michael Cuffee scored 19 and the Blue Raiders scored 17 straight in the first half against the Panthers (5-22, 1-13 Sun Belt).

B-CC 61, N.C. A&T 51: Anis Taylor scored 16 off the bench to lead the host Wildcats (7-20, 5-11 MEAC).

MARQUETTE: Assistant coach Trey Schwab, 39, was in critical condition after having open-heart surgery to remove a blood clot in his lungs.

[Last modified March 2, 2004, 01:44:59]


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