Tigers cash in on big bank shot

Sunday, January 5, 2003

Clemons caroms in 3-point shot to help lift MU to 88-82 win over Iowa.

By Chuck Schoffner ~ The Associated Press

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Never underestimate the value of banking a shot off the glass -- even if it's an accident.

Ricky Clemons took the steam out of Iowa by banking in a 3-pointer with 1:18 left, highlighting a season-high 27-point effort that led No. 16 Missouri to an 88-82 victory over Iowa on Saturday.

Missouri (8-1) was clinging to an 80-78 lead and only five seconds remained on the shot clock when Clemons fired from the left wing, two steps behind the 3-point arc. The ball banked in, drawing an exasperated sigh from the crowd of 14,582 and giving the Tigers an 83-78 lead.

"That was a H-O-R-S-E shot," Iowa's Jared Reiner said. "That's what you use to beat your friends in H-O-R-S-E. That was a tough break for us."

And a great one for Missouri, which got the ball right back on Arthur Johnson's steal and made five free throws over the final 51 seconds to wrap it up.

Clemons, a junior college transfer, made six 3-pointers in all in topping his previous best of 25 points against American in the opener.

"You just play the game," Clemons said. "If the shot goes in, it goes in. If it doesn't, it doesn't. We melt down the clock and we did a great job of not turning the ball over and getting the best shot with the shot clock running down. That's what Coach wanted."

It wasn't how coach Quin Snyder diagrammed it, but he'll take it.

"This is something we've really worked on, time and situation," Snyder said. "It was late in the shot clock. I would have said 'Oh no,' and a lot of other things if he would have taken it about 10 seconds sooner.

"He's made some like that. He hasn't banked them. But when you play the right way, you get rewarded."

Or in Iowa's case, get stung.

"That could easily have banked out hard and started our fast break," Iowa coach Steve Alford said. "But that's basketball."

Playing on an opponent's court for the first time this season, Missouri won a well-played game marked by big plays on both sides and a technical foul on each coach.

Rickey Paulding added 17 points for Missouri, 13 in the first half, and the 6-foot-9, 265-pound Johnson threw his weight around inside to get 16 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks.

Chauncey Leslie led Iowa (8-3) with 19 points.

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