NCAA Midwest Regional at Dallas : Missouri Corrals Texas, 108-89
Doug Smith scored a career-high 32 points as No. 6-ranked Missouri advanced to the National Collegiate Athletic Assn. Midwest Regional semifinals with a 108-89 victory over Texas at Dallas.
Missouri (29-7) advanced to the round of 16 for the first time since 1982. The Tigers have never been in the Final Four. They play Syracuse Friday at Minneapolis.
Texas, making its first NCAA playoff appearance in a decade, finished with a 25-9 record in Coach Tom Penders’ first season.
Penders came from Rhode Island, which last season eliminated Missouri in the first round of the tournament.
“You can see this Missouri team is on a mission,” Penders said. “They are as tough as anybody we’ve played.”
Interim coach Rich Daly, who has taken over the team because Norm Stewart is recovering from cancer surgery, said the Tigers’ game plan was simple.
“We felt we could get inside and on defense we extended their three-point shooting from 19 feet to 22 feet,” Daly said. “They had to stop us inside because we’ve got the big guys in the middle. Our game is in the paint or we lose.”
Texas led, 25-20, but Missouri’s rebounding dominance and physical defense wore down the Longhorns. The Tigers out-rebounded the Longhorns, 41-30, and had a 24-13 advantage by halftime.
The Tigers also got good outside shooting from Lee Coward, who made three three-pointers in the second half.
Smith’s previous high was 31 points against Ohio University this season.
“It was easy because of the way our guards were passing the ball,” Smith said. “We got some good offensive rebounds, too.”
Missouri, the Big Eight Conference tournament winner, dominated Texas, Southwest Conference runner-ups, on the offensive boards to take a 51-41 halftime lead.
Smith, who had 16 points in the first half, got four points on follow shots. Smith had five of Missouri’s 14 first-half layups.
The Longhorns got only as close as six points in the second half but Missouri pulled away in the final 10 minutes behind Smith and reserve Greg Church, who scored 12 of his 14 points in the second half.
Syracuse 65, Colorado St. 50--Derrick Coleman, in his first outing since straining his back six days ago, scored 12 points, had seven rebounds and two blocked shots as the seventh-ranked Orangemen beat the Rams.
“His presence definitely turned the game around,” Sherman Douglas of Syracuse said. “We need him in the game, it’s important for him just to be there. His defense was very important.”
The Orangemen (29-7) will play Missouri in the regional semifinals at Minneapolis.
Syracuse’s pressure defense hurt the Rams early in the game. Colorado State trailed by 10 points at halftime, 38-28, and the Orangemen widened the margin to 48-31 with 15:24 remaining.
“They stayed on our outside people so we couldn’t kick it inside and that hurt our flow,” said Colorado State Coach Boyd Grant, whose team finished 23-10.
Grant said Coleman’s defense caused more problems for the Rams, who shot 37% from the field. But Syracuse Coach Jim Boeheim said the forward wasn’t at his best after missing six days of practice.
“Obviously his offensive timing and rebounding weren’t on, but his defense was there,” Boeheim said. “If this had been an up-tempo game, Derrick would have had a much more limited role.”
Stephen Thompson scored 21 points and missed only one of 11 shots from the field. Douglas and Matt Roe each scored 11 for the Orangemen.
CSU’s Joel Tribelhorn, who made four three-pointers in the Rams’ first-round victory over Florida, made only two shots from three-point range and scored nine points. Andy Anderson led Colorado State with 15.