Oklahoma State claims Big 12 championship

Posted: Tuesday, March 02, 2004

STILLWATER, Okla. Joey Graham scored 20 points, 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.

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

Oklahoma State still must beat lowly 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 remarkable block on a breakaway layup assuring Texas was through scoring for the night.

No. 7 Connecticut 89, Seton Hall 67

STORRS, Conn. Emeka Okafor closed out his career at home with 25 points and 15 rebounds to lead Connecticut over Seton Hall on Monday night.

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 officially announced he will leave early for the NBA, he should be one of the first picks in the draft.

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 Connecticut when the night started, No. 3 Pittsburgh is at No. 12 Providence on Tuesday night.

Ben Gordon had 23 points for the Huskies, who won their fifth straight and ninth of 11. They finished the season 15-1 at home, 8-0 in Gampel Pavilion and 7-1 in the Hartford Civic Center.

N. Iowa 68, No. 15 S. Illinois 52

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa Matt Schneiderman and David Gruber scored 16 points each, and Northern Iowa ruined Southern Illinois' bid to finish unbeaten in the Missouri Valley Conference.

Northern Iowa (18-9, 12-6) was the sharper team from the start in the regular-season finale and never trailed. The Panthers took a 12-point halftime lead, held off Southern Illinois' only run after the break and led by as many as 21 in their third victory this season over a top-25 team.


No. 3 Duke 90, North Carolina St. 57

RALEIGH, N.C. Reserve Brittany Hunter had 20 points and 10 rebounds, and Alana Beard scored 22 points to lead third-ranked Duke Monday night.

Hunter notched her second double-double as the Blue Devils (24-3, 15-1 ACC) picked up their seventh straight win against the Wolfpack (16-13, 8-8 ACC).

Mistie Bass added 13 points for Duke. Kaayla Chones, playing in her last home game for State, scored 15 points, and Kendra Bell added 11.

Duke led 41-24 at the half, paced by 14 points from Hunter and 10 from Beard. Hunter led Duke to a 37-29 edge in rebounds.

The game was delayed for 20 minutes midway through the second half when a shot clock malfunctioned. A replacement clock also stopped working, and State played the last 12:37 without a timer at its offensive end.

Hunter scored 14 points after entering the game with 10:36 remaining in the first half. She scored eight straight points in a span of 1:47 late in the half. That sparked a 10-2 Duke run heading into the break.

Beard scored six points in a 10-0 streak that boosted the margin to 68-36 in the second half. Bass scored six straight points as the Blue Devils took their biggest lead at 75-39 with 7:43 to play.

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