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COLLEGE BASKETBALL / NCAA MEN'S TOURNAMENT : WEST REGIONAL / AT OGDEN, UTAH : Missouri Has No Problem Dumping Wisconsin

March 20, 1994|MARK HEISLER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

OGDEN, Utah — If the NCAA tournament was over-Wisconsined, the balance was redressed Saturday.

Wisconsin Green Bay lost in the opener, and Wisconsin Madison fell in the nightcap, put to the torch by top-seeded Missouri, 109-96. Now America's Dairyland is down to a single representative, Marquette.

Missouri moves on to face Syracuse Thursday in the Sports Arena.

Coach Norm Stewart unleased his 11-deep bench on the young, clumsy Badgers. After 40 minutes of pressing defense and red-hot shooting, Missouri advanced easily, having led by as many as 20 points.

The Tigers shot 68%.

They made 12 of 19 three-pointers.

Guard Melvin Booker scored 35 points in 29 minutes, making 11 of 14 shots and six of eight three-pointers.

Meanwhile, the Badgers fell all over themselves. Rashard Griffith, Wisconsin's 6-foot-11, 265-pound freshman center, got into foul trouble, played only 16 minutes and was outscored by Missouri's 6-9 Jevon Crudup, 10-6.

"We've had some great teams at Missouri," Coach Norm Stewart said, "but we haven't had any that's done better with what they have."

Just in the nick of time too.

The Tigers were picked to finish third in the Big Eight, but went 14-0. Their storybook season was interrupted by the suspensions of Crudup, arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol at the start of the season, and reserve guard Paul O'Liney for Thursday's first-round game after he was accused of hitting a woman.

Missouri had lost in the first round in six of its last eight NCAA tournament appearances.

The Tigers' game Thursday was held up while the game clock was repaired.

Stewart said he began wondering.

"We played at Greensboro one year and the building was hit by lightning three times,"he said. "We spent an hour in the dressing room.

"I thought, 'Maybe somebody really doesn't want me here.'

"But it's getting less. From cancer (Stewart sat out the 1989 tournament while undergoing surgery for colon cancer) through lightning. We're down to just losing the clock."

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