Friday, March 2, 2007

1993-94 Redux: Missouri 64, Coppin State 63

(Cardiac win #4.)

December 12, 1993: KU Coach Likes Tigers’ Prospects

A 37-10 non-conference record at this stage of the season is a comedown forthe Big Eight. Many of the 37 victories have been unexpectedly difficult.

When Missouri was mentioned as a team struggling but winning by a questioner in today's teleconference, Kansas coach Roy Williams wanted to wager.

Williams predicts the Tigers will make the 64-team NCAA Tournament. “I'll bet you a lunch on that or anybody in there that wants to bet,” Williams said. “I know for a fact there's some seniors on Missouri and that old rascal onthe bench.”

Williams is taking a high-percentage shot. Missouri has made the tournament seven of the last eight years and won the Big Eight Tournament the year it did not go because of NCAA sanctions.

IOWA STATE (4-0): The Cyclones stayed undefeated by beating Northern Iowa and Iowa. Coach Johnny Orr said his team approached the week like tournament play.

The 86-79 victory over Iowa brought ISU's winning streak at Hilton Coliseum to 20 games.

“Two teams can't play any harder than that,” Orr said. “It was Hilton at its best.”

KANSAS (8-1): Williams criticized the rule change which eliminated the five-second call for a player who is dribbling.

“I don't think it's good for college basketball,” Williams said, adding that it might lead to a decline in scoring, probably not what the NCAA had in mind.

He'll look for his own words in the NCAA's weekly publication. “I've given a quote to the NCAA News,” he said. “It will be interesting to see if they have the courage to use the quote.”

KANSAS STATE (5-1): The Wildcats have not allowed more than 60 points since their season-opening loss to Southern Mississippi.

“One thing you can control is your defensive effort,” coach Dana Altman said. “If you can hold people down, you don't have to score quite as many points.”

Kansas State, which has played all its games at home, leaves for a tournament in Hawaii this week.

MISSOURI (4-1): Assistant Rich Daly, substituting for Norm Stewart today, said it will be later rather than sooner for the return of seniors Lamont Frazierand Reggie Smith.

“It looks like Lamont and Reggie probably won't be playing until after the first of the year,” Daly said. Smith severely sprained his ankle Dec. 2 at Arkansas. Frazier missed Saturday's game with foot soreness.

OKLAHOMA (3-1): Billy Tubbs was not advocating that the Sooners jump to the Southwest Conference, as he did last week when the topic of a possible merger with the SWC and Brigham Young came up.

“I should have passed on that question,” Tubbs said. “I was kind of in a lighthearted mood.

“I really meant no harm. I would have been better off to say absolutely nothing.”

NEBRASKA (5-2): Jaron Boone has been the primary replacement for point guard Jamar Johnson, out with a broken finger.

“We've just been throwing him into the fire,” Danny Nee said.

OKLAHOMA STATE (5-2): Eddie Sutton blames himself for the Cowboys' schedule. They've played seven games in 16 days.

“We just haven't had time to get back on the practice court and correct some of these mistakes,” Sutton said.

Bryant Reeves' reactions to double teams is one mistake in point. “This is something that we can correct and will correct,” Sutton said.

COLORADO (3-2): In winning percentage, the Buffaloes dropped from first to worst last week. The effect of a hostile arena at Colorado State on his newcomers was not a factor in Colorado's loss there, coach Joe Harrington said.

“If anything, they played better,” he said. “The younger players played better than some of the veterans.
December 19, 1993: MU Saves Another One

of the Tribune's staff

The Missouri Tigers stuck to their script. Take 5 of the Tigers' perilous adventure series wrapped up with the most dramatic ending to date.

Lamont Frazier, back in the starting lineup after missing the Southern Methodist game because of a sore foot, stuck a short jumper with three seconds to play to give Missouri a 64-63 victory over Coppin State yesterday at the Hearnes Center.

As has been the case in their five victories this season, the Tigers (5-1) had to finish fast after floundering most of the game on their home court.

There were more downs than ups for Missouri.

Coppin State (5-4) led from the 15:14 mark of the first half until Frazier's game-winner.

The Eagles led 41-26 with 1:09 left before halftime.

After scoring the last five points of the first half and the first nine of the second half, the Tigers cut the lead to one point. They did it three more times only to see Coppin State rebuild the lead to 63-54 with less than four minutes to play.

“We were almost hopelessly beaten,” Missouri coach Norm Stewart said.“There's just a thread of a chance that we can win that basketball game, andyet they stayed in there and they did win it.”

Coppin State went scoreless the last 3:52, leaving the Tigers to score thefinal 10 points.

“We didn't execute offensively or defensively down the stretch,” CoppinState coach Ron “Fang” Mitchell said. “When you're in a situation where theteam is desperate like that, it will hurt you.”

Missouri's defense had a big hand. Coppin State also ran into some otherproblems.

Down 63-58, the Tigers pressed the Eagles. Jevon Crudup covered StephenStewart for about 60 feet as the forward brought the ball up the court. Aftera series of bumps, Stewart was called for traveling with 2:52 left. He wasthen called for a technical foul. Melvin Booker made one of the two freethrows on the technical, bringing Missouri within 63-59.

“I just happened to be the one that got switched off on him,” Crudup said.“Actually, I thought they called me for a foul. I tried to play him the bestthat I could play him.”

Crudup's best was by far the best the Tigers had yesterday. He scored 23points and pulled down a game-high 16 rebounds, 11 offensive. At times itseemed that if not for offensive rebounds, the Tigers had no offense at all.

The Tigers' offensive rebound total, 23, matched Coppin State's overallnumber. Missouri outrebounded the Eagles 42-23.

Crudup made nine of his 13 field goal attempts. The rest of the Tigers were acombined 14 for 48, 29 percent.

For the first time, Kelly Thames played like a freshman. Thames went two for10 from the field. He was scoreless until a left-handed tip-in lifted Missourito 63-58 with 3:04 to play.

“He got a junkyard bucket down there,” Stewart said. “He was after it. Thatwas a big bucket.”

Thames' other basket was another follow shot that moved the Tigers within63-61 with 1:45 to play.

“I struggled a little bit,” Thames said. “There's going to be some gamesyou have trouble getting on the scoreboard.

“We're still trying to put the pieces together.”

For his part, Frazier didn't see anything very remarkable about his clutchshot from 10 feet just to the right of the lane.

“I see it as just another shot,” he said. “It was a big shot as far as thegame situation goes, but those were the shots that I'd been trying to take allnight. Some were falling, some were not. That's just one that happened to fall.”

It did, the Tigers didn't.