Clemons leads late surge past Iowa State

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Missouri stood behind Ricky Clemons, and in the end he delivered.

Clemons, coming off a one-game suspension, found his scoring touch just in time to lead a late spurt as the No. 21 Tigers beat Iowa State 64-59 Tuesday night.

"I believe in Ricky or he wouldn't be playing," coach Quin Snyder said. "These are times when I think he needs support."

Clemons, a junior point guard who leads the Tigers with a 17-point average, was reinstated Monday after being charged with choking a 20-year-old woman last week. He shot 5-for-19 and missed a handful of wild layup attempts.

He finally started connecting in the closing minutes, scoring six of his 15 points in a 13-0 run that put Missouri, once down by three, ahead 60-50 with 2:45 to go. Before that, he admitted he had been pressing.

"I was a little nervous, but Coach and all the players stuck behind me and just told me to go out there and keep playing hard," Clemons said. "I made a couple of baskets."

Clemons was the first Missouri starter introduced and got a thunderous round of applause just like the rest of his teammates. He is charged with second-degree domestic assault and is scheduled to appear in court Jan. 29.

"When I went out there I was a little anxious, but I respect the people and I know the people respect me," Clemons said. "So I wasn't really worried about how they were going to react."

Clemons likely will play the rest of the season with the Tigers before the case could go to trial. He didn't have anything to say about his legal troubles.

"No statement," Clemons said. "I just don't want to talk about it."

Arthur Johnson had 21 points and 11 rebounds for Missouri (11-3, 2-1 Big 12), which lost by 20 at Oklahoma State on Saturday without Clemons. It was the sixth straight double-double for Johnson and 10th overall. The 54 percent free-throw shooter even went 5-for-5 from the line.

Rickey Paulding added 15 points and stopped a shooting slump, going 5-for-11 after hitting only 6-of-24 the previous two games.

Freshman Adam Haluska had 15 points and Jake Sullivan 10 points and seven rebounds for Iowa State (10-5, 0-4), which has lost four in a row -- all to ranked opponents in the Big 12. Iowa State led 50-47 with 6:39 to go, but scored only nine points the rest of the way.

Coach Larry Eustachy dismissed talk that fatigue was a factor down the stretch.

"There's a lot of people over there in Afghanistan ready to go to war who have been up for 72 hours," Eustachy said. "Fatigue's a real good terminology, but it means nothing.

"These guys are young, they can stay up for two weeks."

Jared Homan added nine points and 10 rebounds for Iowa State.

"They outexecuted us down the stretch," Sullivan said. "This is a game we should have won, we just turned the ball over too much."

Clemons missed his first three shots, two of them 3-point attempts. He tied the score at 16-all with a long 3-pointer, his first points of the game, with 9:30 to go and finished the half with seven points on 2-for-10 shooting.

Iowa State shot 54 percent in the half, partly compensating for 11 turnovers, but Missouri led 29-28. The Cyclones outscored the Tigers 7-1 the last three minutes of the half.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: