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03.02.2016 • WEDNESDAY • M 1




Oklahoma escapes collapse against Baylor HOW THE TOP 25 FARED


When • 6 p.m. Wednesday Where • Tom Gola Arena, Philadelphia Radio • WXOS (101.1 FM) All-time series • SLU leads 12-6. Records • SLU is 10-18, 5-11 Atlantic 10; La Salle is 7-20, 3-13. About the Billikens • SLU enters the game in a three-way tie for 10th place with only a game at home against St. Bonaventure to follow. ... Guard Mike Crawford has led the team in rebounds two of the last three games and has averaged 7.3 over that stretch. ... Reggie Agbeko has become more eicient ofensively of late and has shot 73 percent over the last five games. ... SLU remains last in the A-10 in blocked shots, averaging 1.9 per game. About the Explorers • La Salle ranks last in the A-10 in scoring (63.3), field goal percentage (40.3), field goal percentage defense (46.6) and rebounding margin (minus 8.0 per game). ... The Explorers do have home wins over Dayton (61-57) and St. Bonaventure (71-64). In between those two games, they sufered 10 consecutive losses. ... Jordan Price, who transferred from Auburn, is the second-leading scorer in the conference, averaging 18.9 points. Stu Durando

1. Kansas (26-4) idle.

Buddy Hield scored 23 points in his final home game, and No. 6 Oklahoma squandered a 26-point lead before regrouping to defeat No. 19 Baylor 73-71 on Tuesday night. Hield scored 13 points in the game’s first 8 minutes, but the Sooners fell apart in the second half. Seniors Hield, Ryan Spangler and Isaiah Cousins have started 97 consecutive games together, and all three played key roles for the Sooners. Spangler had 15 points and 13 rebounds, and Cousins scored 10 points for Oklahoma (23-6, 11-6 Big 12), which broke a tie with the Bears for third place in the conference and swept the regularseason series. Taurean Prince and King McClure scored 17 points each for Baylor (21-9, 10-7), which outscored the Sooners 46-29 in the second half. Baylor shot 67 percent in the second half and made 6 of 10 3-point attempts. (AP) SLU women capture honors • St. Louis University sophomore guard Jackie Kemph was named the Atlantic 10 co-player of the year and coach Lisa Stone the coach of the year, giving the program two awards never previously won in 41 years of women’s basketball. Guard Jamesia Price and center Sadie Stipanovich were named to the A-10 third team and to the league’s all-defensive team. Kemph leads the Billikens, who are 23-6, in scoring with a 16.4-point average and assists with 7.1. She is fifth in the country in assists and broke the SLU single-season record with 205. She shared the player of the year award with Duquesne senior April Robinson. Stone was named coach of the year in her fourth season at SLU. She took over a program that

Next: vs. No. 21 Iowa State, Saturday. 2. Michigan State (24-5) idle. Next: at Rutgers, Wednesday. 3. Villanova (26-4) beat DePaul 83-62. Next: vs. Georgetown, Saturday. 4. Virginia (23-6) beat Clemson 64-57. Next: vs. No. 11 Louisville, Saturday. 5. Xavier (25-4) idle. Next: vs. Creighton, Saturday. 6. Oklahoma (23-6) beat No. 19 Baylor 73-71. Next: at TCU, Saturday. 7. Miami (23-5) idle. Next: at Notre Dame, Wednesday. 8. North Carolina (24-6) idle. Next: at No. 17 Duke, Saturday. 9. Oregon (23-6) idle. Next: at UCLA, Wednesday. 10. West Virginia (22-7) idle. Next: vs. Texas Tech, Wednesday. 11. Louisville (23-7) beat Georgia Tech 56-53. Next: at No. 4 Virginia, Saturday. 12. Indiana (24-6) beat No. 16 Iowa 81-78. Next: vs. No. 14 Maryland, Sunday. 13. Utah (23-7) idle. Next: vs. Colorado, Saturday. 14. Maryland (23-6) idle. Next: vs. Illinois, Thurs.


Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield drives to the basket as Baylor guard Ishmail Wainright defends during the second half Tuesday night.

produced an 11-20 record before she arrived and has improved the team’s winning percentage each season. (Stu Durando) Cunningham top freshman • Mizzou freshman guard Sophie Cunningham, junior forward Jordan Frericks and freshman forward Cierra Porter each earned All-Southeastern Conference recognition following a vote by the league’s head coaches, it was announced Tuesday. Cunningham became the first player in program history to be named SEC freshman of the year and was also named secondteam All-SEC and a member of the All-Freshman team.

Tigers narrow 22-point gap down to three before LSU pulls away in the inal minutes

BATON ROUGE, LA. • Ben Simmons led the Louisiana State fast break down the court after a missed Mizzou 3-point attempt. Freshman Brandon Sampson, averaging just 4.1 points per game, paced ahead and anticipated his teammate’s actions. Simmons underhanded a nolook, cross-court pass. Sampson caught the ball in stride, leapt to the basket and laid it in. Sampson, a seldom-used guard dwarfed by his classmate’s international acclaim, buried a 3-pointer on his team’s next possession — given to LSU by one of Mizzou’s 13 turnovers in the first half. The flurry extended a 12-2 run that was too deep for even Mizzou’s most spirited rally to overcome as LSU won 80-71 on Tuesday night to improve to 8-12, 11-6 in the Southeastern Conference. MU fell to 10-20, 3-14. And it further reairmed a shared theme among Mizzou players this week — they’d be opposed by more than just Simmons’ international fame and NBA prestige in the search for their first road victory in more than two years. Though Simmons led all scorers (22 points) and finished three assists shy of a triple double, Sampson keyed the first-half surge and fellow freshman Antonio Blakeney buried the big dagger to derail Mizzou’s second-half surge Mizzou entered its locker room down 46-24, the result of a sluggish first half in which it shot just 35 percent and two of its three leading scorers in the game — Ryan Rosburg and Kevin Puryear — combined to score just five points. Missouri emerged in the second half to exploit the SEC’s worst defense, scoring 47 points on a blistering 60 percent shooting clip to erase much of a 22-point deficit. Rosburg and Puryear scored the first six points of the second half to force LSU coach Johnny Jones into a quick timeout. Puryear buried his first 3-pointer of the night on Mizzou’s next possession and, after two Simmons foul shots, Namon Wright hit a 3 of his own to slice LSU’s lead to 14 points. MU’s deficit kept shrinking, dwindling to 11 when Terrence Phillips hit a jumper from the

Next: vs. Wisconsin, Sunday. 16. Iowa (20-9) lost to No. 12 Indiana 81-78. Next: at Michigan, Saturday.

MU can’t overcome big halftime deicit BY CHANDLER ROME Special to the Post-Dispatch

15. Purdue (23-7) beat Nebraska 81-62.

LSU 80, MISSOURI 71 FG FT Reb MISSOURI Min M-A M-A O-T A PF PTS Puryear 26 4-8 2-2 1-3 1 2 13 Rosburg 30 5-7 3-5 4-5 3 5 13 Phillips 33 5-11 2-2 0-2 4 2 13 Isabell 18 2-8 0-0 2-3 0 1 4 Wright 32 2-6 0-0 0-8 1 1 5 Walton 16 4-6 0-0 0-1 1 1 11 Barton 3 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 0 Gant 16 3-4 0-0 3-5 0 0 6 Woods 8 1-2 0-0 1-2 0 3 2 VanLeer 18 2-6 0-0 0-1 1 0 4 Totals 200 28-58 7-9 11-32 11 16 71 Percentages: FG.483, FT.778. 3-point goals: 8-23, .348. Team rebounds: 2. Blocked shots: 2. Turnovers: 15. Steals: 3. Technical fouls: Bench. FG FT Reb LSU Min M-A M-A O-T A PF PTS Simmons 37 6-8 10-11 4-14 7 3 22 Victor II 31 5-11 0-2 0-2 1 4 10 Blakeney 37 5-11 6-6 0-2 2 2 18 Gray 15 2-3 0-0 0-1 2 0 4 Patterson 32 1-4 0-0 0-1 1 0 3 Sampson 11 3-5 1-2 0-0 1 0 8 Shortess 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 Malone 12 2-3 0-1 0-3 0 3 4 Quarterman 25 4-8 1-2 3-4 6 1 11 Totals 200 28-53 18-24 8-29 20 13 80 Percentages: FG.528, FT.750. 3-point goals: 6-16, .375. Team rebounds: 2. Blocked shots: 0. Turnovers: 10. Steals: 10. Technical fouls: None. Missouri 24 47 — 71 LSU 46 34 — 80 A: 9,652. Officials: Tony Henderson, Jeff Clark, James Breeding.

top of the key and Mizzou drew a charge on Simmons at the other end. Rosburg bullied LSU’s other Aussie — seven-footer Darcy Malone — for a post bucket to bring his Tigers within single digits for the first time since early first in the contest. Walton buried a 3-pointer at the top of the key to cut the lead to six, capping a 7-0 run, with 6:49 left. Rosburg’s putback a minute later pulled MU within four and, after a Simmons layup, Walton hit his third 3-pointer of the second half to get Mizzou within three points – the closest the score had been since it was 4-2. But it was Blakeney, burying a 3 from the wing to reignite a sparse senior night crowd, to push the lead back to six and force Missouri coach Kim Anderson to call a timeout. Phillips banked a driving, uncontested layup out of the huddle before LSU guard Tim Quarterman swished a 3 of his own, pushing LSU’s lead to 71-64. Mizzou thereafter never got to within fewer than five points and its situation was complicated when Rosburg fouled out with 1:57 to go and Simmons hit all six of his final free throws. Rosburg finished with 13 points, as did Puryear and Phillips to lead Mizzou.

For the second straight year, Frericks earned second-team All-SEC recognition, while Porter garnered All-Freshman team honors. (AP)

17. Duke (22-8) beat Wake Forest 79-71. Next: vs. No. 8 North Carolina, Saturday. 18. Arizona (22-7) idle. Next: vs. No. 25 California, Thursday. 19. Baylor (21-9) lost to No. 6 Oklahoma 73-71.

Minnesota suspends three • Minnesota’s season was lost long ago. The Gophers will finish it even more short-handed than they were before. Coach Richard Pitino announced Tuesday that guards Kevin Dorsey, Nate Mason and Dupree McBrayer will be suspended for the remainder of the season, stemming from a sexually explicit video that appeared on Dorsey’s social media accounts. (AP)

Next: vs. No. 10 West Virginia, Saturday. 20. Texas A&M (23-7) beat Auburn 81-63. Next: vs. Vanderbilt, Saturday. 21. Iowa State (21-9) idle. Next: at No. 1 Kansas, Saturday. 22. Kentucky (22-8) beat Florida 88-79. Next: vs. LSU, Saturday. 23. Texas (19-11) idle. Next: at Oklahoma State, Fri. 24. SMU (24-4) idle. Next: vs. UConn, Thursday. 25. California (21-8) idle. Next: at No. 18 Arizona, Thursday.

Valley tourney sparks basketball interest FREDERICKSON • FROM B1

Foolishly, I made a New Year’s prediction that one of our area’s high major teams would make the NCAA Tournament field. I was banking on Illinois, which promptly dropped 10 of 15 games after the calendar flipped to 2016. Illinois (13-16), SLU (10-18) and Mizzou (10-20) each entered March below .500. That hadn’t happened since 197778. Back then, the Illini were 12-13, the Tigers were 12-15 and the Billikens were 7-19. But enough about them. I’m not here to engage in the increasingly popular debate taking place around printers and cofee machines: Could Chaminade beat Mizzou and/or SLU? And we’re talking about the high school, not the university in Hawaii that upended No. 1 Virginia in 1982 in perhaps college basketball’s biggest upset. I’m not going to make a case that SLU would be better of in the Missouri Valley Conference than its current, ill-suited home in the Atlantic 10. That’s a column for another day. And there will be plenty of time to speculate on the future of area coaches on the hot seat. It’s about the only topic that moves the needle these days. It shouldn’t be. Not this week. The MVC tournament, which will stay in St. Louis through at least 2018, deserves our attention. Turn on the TV. Better yet, buy a ticket. I bet you will be happy you did. The field features star seniors who stuck around long enough to make historic impacts at their schools, colorful coaches such as Barry Hinson of Southern Illinois University Carbondale and three teams with at least 22s wins for the first time. A trip to the NCAA Tournament is on the

line. Mix in an event that has drawn 50,000-plus total fans in each of the last 13 seasons, and voilà. The cure for our college basketball blues. “You take all those teams in the region, and the next thing you know, you look up, and, golly,” Hinson said this week. “When those teams are doing well, those crowds follow extremely well. That’s what makes it, in the truest form, Arch Madness.” The frontrunner, of course, is Wichita State. For the fourth time in five seasons, the Shockers hold the No. 1 seed. Coach Gregg Marshall’s group, led by Ron Baker and Fred VanVleet — the first guard duo to earn firstteam all-conference honors in three consecutive seasons — built an absurd 51-3 conference record the past three seasons, claimed three straight regularseason conference titles and punched tickets to the Sweet 16 (2015) and Final Four (2013). These Shockers (23-7) have won their last five games by an average of 26.4 points. Twentyone of their wins have been by 13-plus points. Their two conference losses came by total of eight points. “Here’s a great example,” Loyola coach Porter Moser said. “We’re up 20 with ... I’m sorry, I wish I was up 20 against Wichita ... We’re down 20 against Wichita last week. And I don’t know how much time is left. Four, five minutes. We were on the free throw line. And VanVleet was yelling at his players. He was (angry) at what just happened. When you have your leaders putting (in) that much emphasis, and taking it to heart, it permeates the team. It spreads through the team. It’s contagious.” Perhaps you prefer to pull for the challenger instead of the

favorite. No. 2 Evansville (23-8) features the one-two punch of senior guard D.J. Balentine, who ranks 20th nationally in scoring with a 20.7 point average, plus senior center Egidijus Mockevicius, a 6-foot-10 Lithuanian who leads the nation with 14 rebounds a game. The Aces had to rely on their RPI to break a tiebreaker with No. 3 Illinois State (18-13). Both were 12-6 in league play. Then there is No. 4 Northern Iowa (19-12), the defending MVC tourney champion and current dark horse looming on the Shockers’ side of the bracket. Coach Ben Jacobson’s Panthers have won nine of their last 10 games. A 53-50 victory at Wichita State on Feb. 13 occurred during the surge. Senior point guard Wes Washpun averages 14.1 points, 5.4 assists and 4.1 rebounds. The 6-foot-1 spark plug might be the best pound-for-pound dunker in the league. If you prefer to pull for a Rudy, how about No. 10 Drake? The Bulldogs (7-23) had a rough go, but they are feeling good after an overtime win at Loyola last week. “We’ve got a young group, and they found a way to finish something,” Drake coach Ray Giacoletti said. “We haven’t done a very good job of that in the conference. So, hopefully we have a little confidence going into St. Louis now.” It’s March. It’s OK to be optimistic. College basketball is supposed to be fun, remember? My next bold prediction is that Arch Madness will be a blast. Hey, it’s got a better chance of panning out than Illinois. Ben Frederickson @Ben_Fred on Twitter bfrederickson@post-dispatch.com


FRIDAY 1 Wichita St. (23-7)



12:05 p.m. (FSM)

6:05 p.m. (FSM) 2:35 P.M. TV: CBS Sports Net.

1 Bradley (5-26) 4 N. Iowa (19-12) 2:35 p.m. (FSM)

5 SIUC (22-9)

TITLE GAME 1:05 p.m. KMOV (Ch. 4)

2 Evansville (23-8) 7 Missouri State (12-18)

6:05 p.m. (FSM)

8:35 p.m. (FSM) 5:05 p.m. TV: CBS Sports Net.

10 Drake (7-23) 3 Illinois State (18-13) 8:35 p.m. (FSM)

6 Indiana State (14-16)