Texas back in Big 12 semifinals, knocks Mizzou out of the chase

Saturday, March 9, 2002

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Brandon Mouton scored 19 points and freshman T.J. Ford had 10 assists as Texas beat Missouri 89-85 in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 tournament Friday night.

Deginald Erskin added 15 points and James Thomas recorded a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds for Texas (20-10), which made the semifinals for the fourth straight year but has never won the tournament.

Kareem Rush hit five 3-pointers -- three of them in the final minute as Missouri cut Texas' 84-73 lead to 87-82 -- and led Missouri (21-11) with 33 points.

Clarence Gilbert, who hit eight 3-pointers and scored 26 points in Thursday's first-round win over Iowa State, was just 3-for-12 from long range on Friday and finished with 19 points for Missouri. His 320 career 3-pointers moved him two ahead of Kansas' Jeff Boschee in their duel for the Big 12 record.

Gilbert's last 3-pointer came with just 1.4 seconds left, after Brian Boddicker hit two free throws with eight seconds left to give Texas an 89-82 lead.

Travon Bryant added 14 points and nine rebounds for the Tigers and Arthur Johnson finished with 10 points.

Texas, which never trailed, took a 12-3 lead in the first 2 1/2 minutes and led 29-13 after Mouton's basket with 11 minutes remaining in the half. It was still a 15-point game, 41-26, with just under six minutes left before Johnson hit two straight baskets to start Missouri's rally.

The Tigers put together a 10-0 run late in the first half and early in the second, cutting Texas' lead to 43-35 by the half and to 43-40 on Rush's basket with 18:55 left in the game.

They got within two points, 49-47, on Bryant's tip-in with 15:55 left, but Thomas scored five points in a 7-0 run that made it 56-47 with 13:35 left. After that, Missouri never got within one possession again.

Missouri coach Quin Snyder drew a technical foul with 8:33 left for coming onto the court when Rush was called for fouling Texas' Jason Klotz on an inbounds play. The Longhorns failed to take full advantage, though, hitting only two of the ensuing four free throws.

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