KJís BB Newsletter                    December 24, 2000

Big Saturday

KU 69, OSU 68

Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Hyde.  Iíve never seen a crazier game.  KU was just absolutely brilliant for portions of the first and second halves.  They worked like a well-oiled machine during those periods, but then were stopped in the latter part of both halves by a combination of fouls, turnovers and inspired Buckeye play.

Ed Hightower, as usual, whistled the Jayhawks for everything but the kitchen sink.  Hell, he even called a technical on hometown hero Kenny Gregory.  Hightower and his crew allowed the Buckeyes to shoot 29 more free throws than the Jayhawks.  Their disruptive whistles repeatedly took the Hawks out of their rhythm, and put four Jayhawks on the bench with four fouls apiece with 10 minutes to play.  Coupled with those problems, the Jayhawks also contributed to their difficulties by committing 22 turnovers, eight by Drew Gooden.  The Lawrence Journal-World quoted Coach Williams as saying he would have expected ďa 20 point loss.  I donít know if Iíve ever won a game with that much disparity at the free throw line and in turnovers.Ē

However, Kansas was able to prevail because of those two offensive stretches, while holding the Buckeyes to 33.3 percent shooting (29.6% in the second half).  True, they were helped by OSU missing 14 free throws and making 16 turnovers, and I thought Williams did a brilliant job of keeping all of his players from fouling out.

It was great to see Kenny Gregory, Luke Axtell and Mario Kinsey back.  Although a little bit rusty after a three-game layoff, Columbus-native Gregory had a game-high 17 points, with 6 rebounds, 3 assists and one block, sealing the win and grabbing bragging rights over his Ohio friends.

Given their sloppy play, an unfriendly officiating crew and a hostile crowd, the Jayhawks have to consider themselves lucky to walk away with a win.  Their next outing is this Saturday against SW Missouri State in the Sprint Shootout in Kansas City.

DRAKE 85, WESTERN ILLINOIS 70

Dontaie Smith and Greg Danielson led the Bulldogs to a win over winless Western Illinois Saturday evening at the Knapp Center.  Smith scored a career-high 26 points while Danielson added 18 points and a game-high of nine rebounds.  The hot-shooting Dogs poured in 60% (31 of 51) for the game, while outrebounding the Leathernecks 37-30.

Point guard Lamont Evans added 11 points and 11 assists, while Luke McDonald scored 11 for 4-5 Drake.  Drake wonít play again until January 2, when they open their conference season on the road against Wichita State.

ISU 73, MISSISSIPPI 68

All-American guard Jamaal Tinsley led the Clones with 14 points in a win over No. 24 Mississippi in the championship game of the Yahoo Sports Invitational in Hawaii.  The Cyclones trailed 48-34 in the second half when Tinsley took over, leading a 21-5 run to regain the lead for good.  Jake Sullivan led ISU with 18 points and Martin Rancik had 13 points and 8 rebounds.  The 10-1 Cyclones play this Saturday at home against Western Carolina.

IOWA 78 , KANSAS STATE 86

The No. 19 Hawkeyes were expected to win this one easily, as the Wildcats (now 5-4) were projected to finish last in the Big Twelve. However, Dean Oliver simply got torched by K-Stateís Larry Reid, who scored 31 points and served 7 assists. 

Iowa's Reggie Evans, the nation's leading rebounder, had his 10th straight double-double with 18 points and 18 rebounds. He was 12-of-19 from the foul line. Luke Recker had 25 points for Iowa.

Hopefully, the loss will be a wakeup call for the Hawks, as they now head for a three-game tourney in Hawaii, where they open against Detroit on Thursday.

BIG TWELVE 3, BIG TEN 0

In addition to KU slipping by OSU and K-State topping the Hawkeyes, Texas also toppled a Big Ten opponent, upsetting the No. 5 Illini 72-64.  The 8-2 Longhorns were led by Darren Kelly, playing just his second game for Texas after sitting out an academic suspension the first eight games.  Brian Cook, son of former KU All-American Norm Cook (í74-í76), led the Illini with 18 points.

Thursday through Saturday, the Big 12 went 11-1, while the hapless Big 11, er 10, went 5-4.