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Graham's hot hand powers OSU

3/22/2004

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- A big first half by Joey Graham was all
Oklahoma State needed to reach the regional semifinals.

Graham got 20 of his 21 points before the break, single-handedly
outscoring Memphis' entire team over that span in a 70-53 win
Sunday.

"We had to jump on them from the get-go," Graham said.
"Tonight was just one of those nights when the rim felt like an
ocean."

In the opening round Friday, Oklahoma State played sluggish
defense and was tied 36-all with 15th-seeded Eastern Washington at
the half before going on to win 75-56. Graham scored only four
points in that game, eight under his average.

"I felt a lot better today than I did after we beat Eastern
Washington. Today, we looked more like the team that won the Big 12
championship last week," coach Eddie Sutton said. "There are not
too many teams that we couldn't play with if we play like that."

The Cowboys (29-3) will meet third-seeded Pittsburgh -- a 59-55
winner over Wisconsin -- on Thursday.

Oklahoma State, the second seed in the East Rutherford Regional,
led 41-19 after a first half in which it shot 68 percent
(17-for-23) and outrebounded the Tigers 17-6.

"They manhandled us physically," Memphis coach John Calipari
said. "Instead of coming together, we all said, 'I'll just do it
myself.' They lulled us into that, and then we had turnover after
turnover after turnover."

Memphis actually had only 12 turnovers to Oklahoma State's 17,
but four of those came in the game's critical opening minutes.

It was the most lopsided loss this season for the Tigers (22-8),
and it could have been worse.

The Cowboys led 54-27 with 14 minutes left before Memphis
responded with a 10-0 run. That started a 23-9 surge, capped by
Rodney Carney's free throw with 3:38 left, that got Memphis within
63-50.

The Tigers only managed Antonio Burks' 3 after that as Oklahoma
State clinched its first regional semifinal berth since 2000.

Daniel Bobik went 3-for-4 from the line down the stretch for
Oklahoma State, which made a woeful 53 percent (9-for-17) of its
free throws.

Memphis, which has not advanced past the second round since
1995, managed just two offensive boards in the first half and 11
for the game, compared to 20 defensive rebounds for the Cowboys.

Ivan McFarlin and John Lucas each scored 13 points for the
Cowboys, and McFarlin had 10 rebounds. Bobik added 11 points for
Oklahoma State.

Lucas led the Cowboys with five assists -- only four fewer than
Memphis had as a team.

Meanwhile, Oklahoma State's perimeter defense kept Memphis'
shooters in check for most of the game.

Burks was 3-for-5 from 3-point range and led the Tigers with 21
points, but two of those came in the final four minutes with the
game all but out of reach. Sean Banks had two 3s and 11 points.

But Carney, whose six 3-pointers in a first-round win over South
Carolina were a tournament record for the Tigers, was 1-for-5 from
long range and scored eight points Sunday under intense defensive
pressure from the Cowboys' Tony Allen.

"It was too physical a game for us," said Anthony Rice, who
had three 3s and 12 points in the first round but was 0-for-3 from
outside the arc and scored four points Sunday. "We ran our
offense, but we just couldn't get off any shots."

A 12-1 run, capped by Graham's dunk, gave Oklahoma State a 21-8
lead eight minutes into the first half.

"It gave us a lot of juice and momentum when he made that
dunk," McFarlin said. "That's when I knew he was ready to go."

Graham went 3-for-3 from outside the arc in the last six minutes
of the half and added a dunk at the buzzer.