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ROUNDUP

Kansas Produces Clincher

March 04, 2003|From Associated Press

Keith Langford wanted to be at his best in front of his mother.

Langford scored 20 points and No. 6-ranked Kansas defeated Texas Tech, 65-56, Monday night at Lubbock, Texas, to clinch at least a tie for the Big 12 conference title.

"It was all about my mother being in the stands," said Langford, a native of Fort Worth. "She drove five hours to get here. And the Big 12 championship was on the line. I'm greedy. I want another ring."

Kansas (23-6, 13-2 Big 12) led most of the way and built a 13-point early in the second half behind Langord.

"He hasn't been as offensive-minded as he was tonight," Kansas Coach Roy Williams said of Langford. "Keith is the third option for us, and it's extremely important for him to be involved for us."

Texas Tech cut its deficit to 59-53 with 5:01 remaining.

But Kansas' Aaron Miles scored consecutive field goals -- one off his steal and ensuing easy layup -- to stretch the lead to 10 points at the 4:21 mark.

The Red Raiders (16-10, 6-9) scored only three points in the last five minutes.

"We just kind of had to play from behind from the beginning," Coach Bob Knight said. "We're a different team. We're not as good a team as we were last year."

The victory gave the Jayhawks at least a tie for the Big 12 title with either No. 4 Texas or No. 5 Oklahoma.

The Jayhawks have won of 10 of their last 11 games and can clinch the title outright with a victory at Missouri on Sunday.

No. 19 Creighton 86, Wichita State 60 -- Creighton's Larry House saved his best for his last game in Omaha's Civic Auditorium.

House scored a career-high 28 points in 22 minutes to lead the Bluejays.

House had his big night in front of his mother and stepfather, Joyce and Stephen Cooley, who traveled from Milwaukee for Creighton's Senior Night festivities.

"We need his mom and stepdad at all our games," Coach Dana Altman said. "Heck, we would have moved them to Omaha if we knew he was going to play like that."

Creighton (26-4, 15-3 Missouri Valley Conference) outscored the Shockers, 26-8, in the first eight minutes of the second half to pull away.

Paul Miller scored 18 points for Wichita State (17-10, 12-6).

House, who made 11 of 16 shots, scored his final points on a short jump shot with 6:24 left. His legs got tangled in traffic after the field goal, and he left with a twisted ankle.

The Bluejays finished 17-0 in their last season at Civic Auditorium. Next season they'll move nine blocks away to a downtown arena that is under construction. This is the third time in the program's 85-year history that Creighton has finished unbeaten at home.

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