COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) -- No second-half swoon for Missouri this
Thomas Gardner scored 11 of his 18 points in the final 2 minutes
of regulation and the overtime, helping Missouri end a five-game
losing streak with a 68-65 victory over Oklahoma (No. 18 ESPN/USA Today; No. 16 AP) on
"We never let their runs splinter us," Gardner said. "In
previous games we kind of got down on ourselves but today we stayed
Kevin Young's layup with 1:17 left was the go-ahead basket for
the Tigers (11-13, 3-7 Big 12), who twice rallied from double-digit
deficits in the second half. Missouri trailed by as many as 14
points before storming back and won despite hitting only one of six
free throws in overtime, the one by Linas Kleiza for a three-point
lead with 16 seconds to go.
"You know we're going to make it interesting," coach Quin
But Gardner hit four of his last five shots, three from 3-point
range, down the stretch. And Missouri had perhaps its best
defensive effort, swarming shooters in the second half, and
outrebounding Oklahoma 35-30 after the Sooners had a nine-rebound
advantage in the first half.
"I think they were pressuring our guards out front to make that
pass not as easy," Oklahoma forward Kevin Bookout said. "At the
beginning of the game they were laying off, and in the second half
they got up in us and kind of threw us off."
In the previous three games, the Tigers had been outscored
146-87 after halftime.
"If we're going to play just one half, it's better off for us
to play the second half than the first," Snyder said. "We've been
playing well in the first half and then just letting up.
"We were physical, we rebounded the ball, we did all the dirty
Snyder said he called out his players at halftime.
"We deserved it," Kleiza said. "We had some fireworks going
down, but it was all good."
Lawrence McKenzie's 3-point attempt from the corner just missed
with 2 seconds to go for Oklahoma (17-6, 6-4). The Sooners' only
other shot in the final minute was a long 3-pointer off the
backboard by Drew Lavender at the shot clock buzzer with 39 seconds
"You win some, you lose some," Oklahoma coach Kelvin Sampson
said. "And some you feel like slipped away. We certainly had every
chance to win this thing."
Kleiza had 18 points and 13 rebounds for Missouri, which won for
only the second time in 10 games overall. Snyder raised his record
against the Sooners to 3-8.
"They came out of the locker room breathing fire, and we didn't
match their intensity at all," Oklahoma guard Jaison Williams
said. "We're known for playing hard and we just got
Missouri outscored Oklahoma 14-4 over the final 5:39 of
regulation. Gardner got the last two baskets, a fastbreak layup
with 1:47 left and 3-pointer for the tie with 55 seconds left.
The Tigers missed three shots on the final possession of
regulation, a runner by Conley, a tip by Kleiza and an off-balance
shot by Kleiza with about a second left.
Missouri erased an 11-point halftime deficit that grew to 14
points in the first 1:15 of the second half with a 12-0 spurt that
produced a 45-44 lead with 9:06 to go. It was spurred by scrappy
defense and a public address announcer that excitedly counted down
the Oklahoma lead with each basket.
Oklahoma scored the next 11 points for a 10-point lead with 5:39
to go, holding Missouri to 0-for-4 shooting with two turnovers. But
the Sooners were hanging on at the end of regulation.