MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

March 2, 2014

College basketball roundup


Phoenix staff, wire reports

Men

Arkansas 87, Georgia 75




FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Coty Clarke scored a career-high 23 points as Arkansas continued its recent surge with an 87-75 win over Georgia on Saturday.

The win is the second in two days for the Razorbacks (20-9, 9-7 Southeastern Conference) over one of the SEC’s top teams, following their win at Kentucky on Thursday night.

Clarke had 15 points in the first half, and he was joined in double figures by Michael Qualls with 20.

Arkansas has now won five straight SEC games for the first time since 2010, giving it 20 wins for the first time since the 2007-08 season — the last time it went to the NCAA tournament.

Kenny Gaines led the Bulldogs (16-12, 10-6) with 25 points, while Marcus Thornton had 13 and Brandon Morris 11.



Oral Roberts 80,

Sam Houston 73




TULSA — Korey Billbury tied his career high with 29 points, making 3 of 5 3-point attempts, to lead Oral Roberts to an 80-73 victory over Sam Houston State Saturday night.

Sam Houston, which was in sole possession of second place in the Southland Conference at the beginning of the week, has now slipped to third following an 80-71 loss at Central Arkansas Thursday night and this loss to ORU (16-13, 10-6). ORU is in sixth place.

SHSU held a 72-69 lead with 3:16 remaining, but the Bearkats managed just a single point after that.  ORU scored 11 points in the final 2:53.  Billbury had four free throws, Shawn Glover, who finished with 21 points, had a layup and three free throws while Bobby Word and Brandon Conley each added a free throw.

Jabari Peters scored 26 points for the Bearkats (19-9, 11-5).





St. Thomas 96,

Bacone 76



The Warriors’ hopes of clinching the fifth spot in the Red River Conference tournament fell short Saturday night at the Palmer Center.

Bacone concludes the regular season at 12-18 and 8-10 in the RRAC and has the sixth seed and will now wait to see if it plays St. Thomas or Our Lady of the Lake on Tuesday. The Celts and Saints are tied for second in the RRAC standings with 14-4 conference records.

Bacone trailed 48-30 at halftime and was unable to get any closer than 14 points in the second half.

On the night the Warriors knocked down 52 percent (27-of-51) but went 8-of-17 from three-point range and 14-of-23 at the charity stripe.

Matt Qualls finished with 21 points, Geo Brewer added 15, Creed Flowers pumped in 13 and Roland Barbaza knocked in 12. Jeremy McClain led in rebounds with 10.





Women:

OSU 67, Kansas St. 62




STILLWATER — With Oklahoma State celebrating senior day for Tiffany Bias, Kendra Suttles and Kamri Anderson, Kansas State tried to spoil the moment with a furious second-half comeback.

But the 15th-ranked Cowgirls overcame the late onslaught to clinch a 67-62 victory and solidify at least a tie for third in the Big 12 Conference standings — and a chance at the three seed in next week’s Big 12 Conference Championship in Oklahoma City.

"You can all see why I’m losing hair and it’s going grey, and all that. We’ve had a habit sometimes this year of blowing leads and it happened again tonight," Cowgirl coach Jim Littell said. "... Proud of the kids that they found a way to come back and win the basketball game."

Oklahoma State has had one of the premium perimeter defenses in the country all year. But for the second straight game, it nearly cost the Cowgirls at home.

After holding Kansas State to 1 of 10 from outside in the first half, the Wildcats knocked down 6 of 9 (66.7 percent) to help push away by four points with three minutes remaining. Littell elected to go to the full-court press to slow down KSU’s momentum.

The decision was fruitful for the Lady Pokes. Oklahoma State got back-to-back turnovers to reclaim the lead — which it would not relinquish over the final two minutes."

OSU got a collective effort in tying the program’s mark for most conference wins. Redshirt freshman Brittany Atkins came off the bench to contribute 11 points and four rebounds to give the Cowgirls a fourth double-digit scorer — along with Bias (17), Brittney Martin (13) and Liz Donohoe (12).

The Cowgirls will have a short turnaround with their season finale Monday at Texas, which has a 7-1 home conference record. The winner of the contest will earn the three seed in the Big 12 tournament in Oklahoma City.



TCU 76, OU 66



FORT WORTH, Texas — A rocky start caused Oklahoma to fall behind TCU early and the Sooners ever regained their footing in a 76-66 loss Saturday night at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.

Aaryn Ellenberg scored a game-high 26 points and added eight rebounds.

Oklahoma led 12-6 but allowed an 8-2 run by TCU to tie the game 11 minutes into the first half. Veja Hamilton’s layup gave the Horned Frogs an 18-16 lead one minute later and Oklahoma would never recover.

The Sooners committed a season-high 26 turnovers and shot a season-low 11 free throws, of which they made eight.

TCU made a conference game-high 50 percent of its field goals while Oklahoma shot 46 percent from the field.

Zahna Medley scored 22 to lead the Horned Frogs, who had three players in double figures. Natalie Ventress added 20 and Hamilton came off the bench for 16.



St. Thomas 66,

Bacone 42




The Celts built a 34-12 halftime advantage before leading by as many as 25 in the defeat. Dametria Dawson led Bacone in scoring with 17 points and 11 boards; Kayla Denton added 11.

The Lady Warriors (9-18, 4-14) wrap up the regular season with a trip to Crowley’s Ridge College on Monday night.



E. Carolina 78,

Tulsa 69




GREENVILLE, N.C. — Ashley Clark scored a career-high 26 points and Antoinet Webster tied her personal-best of 10 points, but it wasn’t enough as Tulsa dropped a decision to East Carolina on Saturday afternoon at Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum in Greenville, N.C.  TU fell to 11-15 on the season and 5-10 in Conference USA, while ECU moved to 22-6 overall and 10-5 in the league.