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Top-Seeded Missouri Shoots Down Wisconsin's Upset Bid, 109-96

March 20, 1994|Associated Press

OGDEN, Utah — Melvin Booker scored a career-high 35 points, and Missouri took advantage of Rashard Griffith's sparse playing time to beat Wisconsin 109-96 Saturday in the second round of the West Regional.

Walk-on Paul O'Liney returned from a one-game suspension to score 14 first-half points for Missouri in a game that saw the teams set an NCAA tournament record with 27 3-pointers.

O'Liney, suspended for punching a woman in a Missouri bar, sparked a first-half rally that helped the Tigers overcome a career-high 36 points by Michael Finley.

Missouri, the region's No. 1 seed and the nation's fifth-ranked team, advanced to a West semifinal Thursday against Syracuse.

Wisconsin played much of the game without Griffith, its freshman center sensation, who got in foul trouble early and wasn't a factor. Griffith, who had 22 points and 15 rebounds in a first-round victory over Cincinnati, had only six points and five rebounds.

Missouri center Jevon Crudup also sat out much of the first half with foul trouble, but outside shooters for the two teams more than made up for the absence of the big men.

Led by Tracy Webster's seven 3-pointers, the teams topped the previous tournament record of 25 3-points in a 1990 game between Loyola Marymount and Michigan.

Missouri shot 71 percent in the second half and 68 percent for the game. Wisconsin shot 42 percent.

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