2:00 PM ET, March 13, 2004
American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas
DALLAS (AP) -- Once Oklahoma State made an unexpected switch to a zone defense and Daniel Bobik rediscovered his 3-point shooting touch, Texas Tech was in trouble.Bobik started and ended a game-turning run before halftime with 3-pointers, right after Oklahoma State's defensive adjustment, and the No. 7 Cowboys beat Texas Tech 82-77 Saturday to advance to the championship game of the Big 12 tournament."Our zone saved us," Cowboys coach Eddie Sutton said. "We couldn't cover them. They were just picking us to death, screening us to death."Oklahoma State (26-3) went to the zone after a timeout with 7:47 left before halftime with the score tied. Two minutes later, the Cowboys had their first lead, and a minute after that Bobik's first 3-pointer started a first half-ending 14-1 run."When we had to make a shot against the zone, we couldn't," Tech coach Bob Knight said. "It's been our weakness all year long. We need to be better shooting, instead of relying on our movement."Sutton even stopped after halftime and explained himself to Knight, a longtime friend and also an admirer of legendary Oklahoma State coach Henry Iba."Knowing how Mr. Iba hated zones, when I walked by, I said 'I know Mr. Iba's probably frowning down right now, but we can't cover you," Sutton said.Oklahoma State has won 16 of 17 games since an 83-62 loss to Texas Tech at Lubbock on Jan. 10.After winning its first Big 12 regular season title, Oklahoma State gets a chance Sunday to win the league's tournament for the first time. The Cowboys will play No. 11 Texas, a 64-60 winner over No. 18 Kansas in the other semifinal game.The Cowboys lost to Kansas in their only other Big 12 title game in 1999. Their last tournament championship was in the Big Eight Conference in 1995.Texas Tech (22-10) appears certain to go the NCAA tournament for the second time in three seasons under Knight. The Red Raiders played in the NIT last year and reached the semifinals.While Bobik's three 3-pointers accounted for all of his points, each was big.Bobik's 3 off an inbound pass with 4:25 left in the first half put Oklahoma State ahead 30-28, and started the 14-1 run. On the final shot of the half, he hit another one for a 41-29 lead.As Bobik's half-ending shot went through the basket, he stumbled back on the ground. Laying on his back, he pumped both fists in the air before being surrounded by his teammates."That was a momentum change for us," said John Lucas, who led the Cowboys with 22 points.One of the league's top 3-point shooters at 43 percent during the regular season, Bobik had made just 6-of-28 his last seven games. He made just one of six in Oklahoma State's quarterfinal win over Iowa State."When he's scoring points, it really takes a lot of pressure off his teammates," Sutton said. "When he hasn't been scoring, his man can freelance around and help double up on John."When Texas Tech cut a 15-point deficit to five in the second half, Bobik hit his other 3-pointer for a 60-52 lead. The Red Raiders never got closer than five points after that."It's starting to come back for him," Lucas said. "For him to step up like he did will make us even more dangerous."Lucas had four 3-pointers in his third straight 20-point game. Ivan McFarlin had 19 points, Joey Graham 16, and Tony Allen 13.Andre Emmett had 26 points and Devonne Giles 20 for the Red Raiders, who lost in the Big 12 semifinals for the third straight year. Mikey Marshall, who had a career-high 23 on Friday, had 12 points.After Allen tipped in a missed 3-pointer by Lucas with just under 16 minutes left, the Cowboys led 52-37.Texas Tech then scored nine straight points, starting with Emmett's short bank shot and free throw after being fouled. After Giles moved inside for a basket, Ronald Ross scored again.Less than a minute later, Oklahoma State was in front 57-46, after Allen's third-effort layup and Lucas' steal that led to a layup.Texas Tech got within five twice after that, but Bobik had his last 3-pointer and Allen consecutive baskets the next time."They zoned us tough," Emmett said. "We didn't get the right movement until late. It wasn't soon enough."The Red Raiders scored the game's first five points and had an 18-11 lead, before Oklahoma State tied the game with seven straight points, getting even on Graham's basket with 10:36 left.However, the Cowboys didn't take their first lead until Allen's baseline drive and free throw gave them a 27-26 edge.
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