It is finished ....  

TTigerAtty 63M
3769 posts
3/10/2006 10:40 am

Last Read:
3/11/2006 6:45 am

It is finished ....

Yes, it is finished.

Nebraska 71, Missouri 64
Time runs out on Tigers season

By STEVE WALENTIK of the Tribune’s staff
Published on Friday, March 10, 2006

DALLAS – It sunk in as the final seconds ticked off the clock last night at the American Airlines Center. The end.

For the Missouri basketball team, it came in the form of a 71-64 loss to Nebraska in the opening round of the Big 12 Conference Tournament. For the Tigers, seeded 11th, it was the quickest tournament exit in the decade-long history of the event.

“It’s pretty hard, especially for me and Kevin” Young, said senior Jimmy McKinney, whose career ended with a 15 points. “I know Coach is taking it pretty hard, too. I think as a competitor, you don’t want to lose and to go out like we did is very demoralizing.”

More so still because the stage appeared set for a memorable finish. The Tigers fought back from a 12-point second-half deficit to even the score at 64 with 1:51 to play.

On the ensuing possession, Missouri bottled up Nebraska for 32 seconds, denying center Aleks Maric the ball in the post, blocking Charles Richardson from driving to the basket.

But the Tigers (12-16) had no one close enough to Jamel White when Richardson pitched it out to him on the wing, and he knocked in a 3-pointer that gave the Huskers (18-12) a 67-64 lead.

Thomas Gardner, whose breakout junior season will be most remembered for the 3-pointers he rained down on Kansas in an upset Jan. 16, seemed determined to cast himself in the role of hero once again. He caught a pass on the wing and, even though Jason Dourisseau stood only inches away as the clock dropped below a minute, launched a 3-pointer that clanged off the backside of the rim.

White grabbed hold of the rebound and any chance the Tigers had of victory.

“The shot that I took, it was a contested 3, but I had been making them,” Gardner said. “I had confidence to shoot the ball, but if I could get that play back, I probably would have drove, knowing that we were in the bonus.”

Missouri ran out of second chances when Maric corralled carom of Wes Wilkinson’s missed 3-pointer with 32 seconds to play. Three Tigers swarmed him at the free-throw line, but none was willing to commit a foul to stop the clock and put him on the line.

He dumped the ball to Dourisseau slashing along the baseline. He didn’t hesitate as he made his way to the rim. Kevin Young fouled him as he slammed it home. Young fouled out on the play, finishing his career with five points and three rebounds in 21 foul-filled minutes.

Seconds after Young finally left the floor, Dourisseau finished off the three-point play to cap a 20-point night. It was 16 more than he had in 64-63 loss to Missouri in Sunday’s regular-season finale.

But the biggest difference Nebraska’s 6-foot-6 senior made last night was not letting Gardner catch fire the way he did Sunday, when he scored 11 straight points to lead Missouri back from an 11-point deficit in the final five minutes at Mizzou Arena.

“To be honest with you, some of those 3s he shots tonight at the end of the game, there wasn’t much difference,” said Dourisseau, whose team will play third-seeded Oklahoma in a quarterfinal at 8:20 tonight. “The only difference was the result. I had a hand up on Sunday as well as tonight. They didn’t go in, fortunately, tonight.”

In fact, Gardner made only 3 of 12 shots. He was 1 for 7 from 3-point range and finished with 13 points.

Gardner only had two points at intermission as Nebraska built a 34-28 lead.

The Cornhuskers went right to work padding their advantage as Wilkinson and Charles Richardson each knocked in an open 3-pointer in the first three minutes of the second half to extend their lead to 10.

Nebraska pushed it to 47-35 on Jason Dourisseau’s layup with 14:15 remaining.

The Huskers were able to hold onto at least a portion of their advantage for the next seven minutes. But several missed free throws by Nebraska–which finished 14 of 28 from the line–gave the Tigers a chance to rally.

Jason Horton started a 12-2 Missouri run with his second 3-pointer of the game with 9:17 to play. Matt Lawrence knocked in his second 3-pointer on a kick-out pass from sophomore center Kalen Grimes – the second assist of his career – and Gardner and Horton each scored on drives. Gardner closed the run with a pair of free throws to give MU a 58-57 lead.

Maric, who finished with 19 points and eight rebounds, scored the next three points as Nebraska regained the lead.

The Tigers would tie it twice more, but they couldn’t move back in front.

“We fought back and made a game out of it,” interim Coach Melvin Watkins said. ‘I think any time you play these type of games you want to be in the position to come down the stretch and have a chance to win. We surely put ourselves in that position.”

Missouri couldn’t always say that this season. But it made last night’s loss no easier to endure.



non illigitimae carborundum

TTigerAtty 63M

3/10/2006 11:20 am

Author's comment:

What do you say about a Missouri Tiger basketball team that finished with an overall record of 12-16? A team that turned in the worse performance of any Tiger team in the past 4 decades? A team that exited the Big 12 Conference Tournament in the first round, something no previous Tiger team has done since the Big 12 Conference was formed a decade ago? A team that managed to barely escape the cellar of the Big 12 and was actually beaten by the team that finished in the cellar, the Baylor Bears? A team, which at times, had a few bright spots like their win at Oklahoma, their win at home over arch rival Kansas and the 40 point performance by Thomas Gardner, their junior guard, against Kansas? A team which had many, many more low points, like their 32 point loss to Illinois in the Busch Braggin' Rights Series (a game which this writer personally witnessed at the Savvis Center in St. Louis) and a loss at Kansas by an even wider point margin that is so painful I cannot even recall from memory the exact magnitude of the loss?

What does one say about a once proud college basketball program, that has fallen so far so fast? What does one say about a 39 year old head coach that came to Columbia, Missouri from the nationally prominent Duke basketball juggernaut with so much promise and left with so little success? What does one say about a college administration which forced the retirement of Norm Stewart, a proven winner who had played in or coached in more than half of the basketball games ever played at Missouri in order to lure a young unproven 32 year-old assistant coach, Quin Snyder, from the Duke program? What can one say about a college administration which bungled the handling of the Ricky Clemons NCAA investigation and subsequently embarassed the entire state university? What can one say about a college administration which now stubbornly refuses to invite Norm Stewart, alumnus and former successful coach over his 32 year reign at the helm of the program, to participate in the recruitment and hiring of the next head coach at the University of Missouri?

If you have not already sensed that I am mad, let me tell you that I am so fucking angry I could bite a 1/4" reinforcing rod in two!

rm_magnet4u22 50F
18406 posts
3/10/2006 2:54 pm

I feel your pain The Bruins won!


PrincessKarma 45F
6188 posts
3/10/2006 3:27 pm

My codolences...

The Big Bang was the mother of all orgasms.PrincessKarma

TTigerAtty 63M

3/10/2006 4:00 pm

[blog magnet4u22] - I'll keep an eye on them! I think I heard that the Washington Huskies lost their game. That wasn't expected, was it? UCLA has won more NCAA Championships than any other school!

PrincessKarma - Thanks you My Lady! Our baseball team is ranked 18th nationally, so I'll just start following them!

TTigerAtty 63M

3/11/2006 6:45 am

I will definitely watch North Carolina and Duke this weekend! But I know I will be cussing Snyder for screwing up the Hansbrough recruitment! It's that time of the year! I will rest my fingers from blogging and start exercising my right elbow! Buffalo Wild Wings is gonna make some good money from my patronage during the next several weeks!

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