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Texas beats Kansas to make final

Associated Press
Published March 14, 2004

DALLAS - Brandon Mouton seems ready to lead Texas the way T.J. Ford did last year.

Mouton scored 10 straight, including consecutive 3-pointers, during a 12-4 run late in the second half that sent No. 11 Texas past No. 18 Kansas 64-60 Saturday in the semifinals.

Mouton got the Longhorns (23-6) out of the quarterfinals by scoring five in the last half-minute of a 66-63 victory over Oklahoma. After a two-game slump, he appears to have regained the feel of his previous five games, when he averaged 22.8 points.

Texas will need him at his best today when it faces No. 7 Oklahoma State in the final. The Cowboys, who beat Texas Tech 82-77 in the other semifinal Saturday, held Mouton to 17 points while beating the Longhorns twice this season.

Last year, Mouton was a sidekick to Ford, the All-America point guard who carried Texas to the Final Four before going pro.

In reaching the championship game for only the second time in its eight-year history, Texas climbed out of an early 11-point deficit, going ahead on a three-point play with 1:27 left in the first half.

The Jayhawks (21-8) led briefly early in the second half and tied it at 45 midway with 9:40 left. Jason Klotz put Texas ahead, then Mouton took over, scooping in a layup, then hitting another one followed by the two 3s.

NO. 7 OKLA. ST. 82, TEXAS TECH 77: Daniel Bobik rediscovered his 3-point shooting touch and the Cowboys switched to a zone defense just in time to advance to the championship game.

"Our zone saved us," Cowboys coach Eddie Sutton said. "We couldn't cover them. They were just picking us to death, screening us to death."

Oklahoma State (26-3) went to the zone after a timeout with 7:47 left before halftime with the score tied. Two minutes later, the Cowboys had their first lead, and a minute after that Bobik's first 3-pointer started a half-ending 14-1 run.

"When we had to make a shot against the zone, we couldn't," Tech coach Bob Knight said. "It's been our weakness all year long. We need to be better shooting, instead of relying on our movement."

Oklahoma State is 16-1 since an 83-62 loss to Texas Tech at Lubbock on Jan. 10.

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