YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections


Pierce, Vaughn Make a Big Day Even Better for No. 1 Kansas

March 10, 1997|From Associated Press

Kansas, off to a rough start when Jacque Vaughn injured his hand during the preseason, made a smooth ending when their senior point guard carried the Jayhawks (32-1) to an 87-60 victory over Missouri at Kansas City, Mo., to win the inaugural Big 12 Conference tournament championship.

The victory earned Kansas the Big 12's automatic bid to the NCAA tournament and the No. 1 seeding in the Southeast Region.

Kansas accomplished the feat with two former Southland prep players.

Paul Pierce, a former Inglewood High standout, tied his career highs with 30 points and 11 rebounds, and Vaughn, a former Pasadena Muir High star, had a season-high 12 assists and 13 points for the Jayhawks. Raef LaFrentz scored 16 points.

"Yesterday, I was talking about the defense, but that 10- or 12-minute stretch at the end of the first half was about the best offense we've ever played," Kansas Coach Roy Williams said.

Pierce and LaFrentz benefited from Vaughn's passing and the Tigers could not keep up with Kansas' fast break. Vaughn had a scoring surge late in the first half as the Jayhawks made 20 of their 30 shots.

Missouri (16-17) is the only team to beat Kansas this season, winning, 96-94, in double overtime on Feb. 4 at Columbia, Mo.

Derek Grimm and Jason Sutherland each scored 10 for the Tigers.

Los Angeles Times Articles