The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on January 23, 1996 · Page 13
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 13

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Salina, Kansas
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Tuesday, January 23, 1996
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TSPORTS JOURNAL HAROLD BECHARD TlieSaltna Journal MONEY/ B4 CLASSIFIED / B5 ALMANAC / B7 B stop Sooners Defense keys K-State's quick start Notes and quotes from Monday's Big Eight coaches teleconference call while thinking you better take Dallas and give the 13. The .defense continues to shine for Kansas State. . The Wildcats are the talk of the Big Eight after their 75-60 victory ;at Oklahoma last Saturday. It's the second road conference win in as many games for Tom Asbury's club. You can talk about good shooting (52 percent from the field and 16 of 20 from the line) or big games from Tyrone Davis and Elliot Hatcher (25 points each), but the Wildcats are winning with defense. Asbury said his team was a good defensive club last year but lacked size inside. With the addition of Gerald Eaker and Shawn Rhodes, K-State is much bigger this season. '• "Last year we just didn't have the size to compete against the very good teams," Asbury said. "We're a smarter team and a bigger team. We're primarily doing it at the defensive end and making :other teams work hard to get baskets." K-State's defense has been dynamite against the Big Eight's top three scorers: Ryan Minor of Oklahoma, Chauncey Billups of Colorado and Dedric Willoughby of Iowa State. Those three have made just 16 of 63 field goals (27 percent) against the Wildcats in four Big Eight games. • PEP TALK? K-State players credited a heated "pep talk" from 'Asbury for helping them get ready for the Oklahoma game. "It wasn't a pep talk, it was more of a butt-chewing," Asbury said. "We had very good practices on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, but Friday night, there was a lot of slippage from our point. "I told them if they wanted to be a factor in the league, we couldn't have practices like that." • RESIGNATIONS: Two mid- season coaching resignations — Colorado's Joe Harrington and Pepperdine's Tony Fuller — have hit close to home for Asbury. The K-State coach grew up in Denver, received his master's degree from Colorado in 1974 and was the head coach at Pepperdine from 1988-94. "It's a tough business and it shows how much pressure there is and how much scrutiny there is," Asbury said. "I had no idea Tony was going to do that. I feel bad that he couldn't have at least finished the season." • OSU'S ALEXANDER: Oklahoma State has been suffering through a shooting slump much of the season, but McPherson sophomore Chad Alexander has given the Cowboys a spark. After playing sparingly during the first six weeks of the season, Alexander has scored 30 points in his last two games hitting 8 of 16 shots from the field and all eight of his free throws. Six of those field goals by the 6-foot-3 guard were 3- pointe^s. "You're going to see Chad get more and more playing time in the remaining games," Oklahoma State coach Eddie Sutton said. "We've always known he could score, but he's matured in several other areas for us." • BUSKERS' HOME: It's a big week coming up for the Nebraska Cornhuskers.'who can establish themselves as the main threat to Kansas for the Big Eight championship. The Huskers (2-1 in the Big Eight and 14-4 overall) have home games this week against Missouri (Wednesday) and Kansas (Sunday). "It's very important for us," Nebraska coach Danny Nee said. "If we're going to be a factor in the race and have a strong season, you have to control your home court." The Huskers failed to do that last year, winning just twice at home in seven conference games. • DAVIS THE KEY: Kansas State forward Tyrone Davis is the pig Eight Conference player of the week after his 25-point performance against Oklahoma on Saturday. Another notable statistic is that in the eight minutes Davis was on the bench, K-State didn't score a point. Third-ranked KU builds big lead then holds off Oklahoma for home win By HAROLD BECHARD The Salina Journal . LAWRENCE - Home or away, everyone, it seems, is ready to give the Kansas Jayhawks its best shot. Monday night it was Oklahoma, Two days after their debacle at home against Kansas State, the Soon- ers gave Kansas all it wanted before the Jayhawks gained a 72-66 victory in Allen Fieldhouse. After a 15-point loss at home to Oklahoma Kansas State on Saturday, Oklahoma didn't quit against the third-ranked Jayhawks. . : Kansas', now 3-0 in the Big Eight and 15-1 overall, built a i6-point lead early in the second half and watched Oklahoma .,cuf the margin to'six points 66 in-the final 30 'seconds. •'- I -i '" "'':'•<:' "We take a lot of pride in the fact we're going to get : everyone's best shot," Kansas coach Roy Williams said. . "I know (OU coach) Kelvin (Sampson), and I certainly expected his team td,come out enthused and play a good game." Sampson, whose team dropped to.2- 3 and 10-7, was much happier with the way his team played than two^days ago after apologizing for the 75-60 loss to K-State. "I was very proud of my basketball team," Sampson said. "I measure our performance by effort and tonight we' put in a sincere effort against one of the best teams in the country." Kansas seemed in total control after opening the second half with a basket inside by Scot Pollard and a 3-pointer from Jerqd Haase to grab a 16-point advantage (44-28) with 18:28 remaining. It was still a 15-point game (49-34) with 16:08 remaining when the Soon- ers started chipping away at the KU lead. The Sooners got within nine points (51-42) at the 12:01 mark and eight (5850) with 8:15 left after a 3-pointer by Ryan Minor. The lead shrunk to seven points (6861) after a 3-pointer by Tyrone Foster with 3:01 left, but the Sooners couldn't get any closer until Foster's trey with 30 seconds remaining made it 72-66. Cold shooting prevailed throughout much of the first half, but the Jay- hawks took advantage of turnovers by Oklahoma to grab a 39'28 advantage at halftime. Oklahoma jumped out to an 8-4 See KANSAS, Page B3 12; Memphis I 13. Arizona 15. UCLA Y 17.,Syracu8e / ;, ,18. Ciemson -. „ , 19.PUrdue * < ' 20, Boston College 21. Aubum • > ,-22. Iowa; "T '_, tie Texas Tech ;24. Marquette ' 25, California T SUPER BOWL XXX Woodson expected to play • «•- • ••..:••• ' . ' XT J Steelers star defensive back moving well after missing entire season By BARRY WILNER The Associated Press TEMPE, Ariz. — Here's a switch: The AFC champion looks like it's one up on the NFC champion heading into the Super Bowl. Rod Woodson, the Pittsburgh Steelers' ailing star cornerback, was given the go-ahead to play Sunday at almost the same time Charles Haley, the Dallas' Cowboys sidelined defensive ace, missed practice with a fever. Any edge for the AFC, which has lost 11 straight Super Bowls, is greatly appreciated. Even as early as Monday. "Rod is going to play," coach Bill Cowher said a little while after the Steelers arrived hi a town gripped as much in Cowboys fever as Super Bowl fever. But the fever of most concern was the 101-degree temperature that felled Hajey, who is frying to return from back surgery nearly seven weeks ago. Dallas' main pass-rushing threat, Haley hasn't been in a game since Dec. 3. "He didn't feel well at breakfast then felt worse this afternoon," coach Barry Switzer said. "Doctors were giving him some intravenous fluids to try to get him well from the viral infection." While Haley's return is on hold, Woodson's is a go because Cowher was impressed with .how the perennial All-Pro moved during practices. Woodson has been out since the season opener after tearing up his right knee, the kind of injury that normally sidelines players for a year, not four months. Woodson began working out before the AFC title game. He limped noticeably and had trouble cutting, so Cowher's decision to scratch him against Indianapolis was easy. Woodson's work the past week made the latest decision relatively easy, too. "He's made progress ... now we have to find out to what extent," Cowher said. "We'll probably decide (how much he will play) on game day." Being hi uniform on game day is the first reward for the nine- year veteran considered, along with Dallas' Deion Sanders, as the best coverage cornerback in football. Playing any significant role would be almost miraculous. "It would have crushed me if the Steelers made the Super Bowl and I 'couldn't play," Woodson , The Associated Press Pittsburgh linebacker Kevin Greene reacts to the cheers from the crowd as the Steelers arrived in Phoenix on Monday in preparation for Super Bowl XXX on Sunday. said. "The Super Bowl is what kept me going. If they had put me on injured reserve, there wouldn't have been a reason to work out so hard." .: Haley's workload could be cut significantly by his illness. Dallas doesn't practice again until Wednesday, but with Haley already on the mend from his back woes, the last thing he needs is a setback like this. "Having Charles back is a great help to our defense," running back Emmitt Smith said. "He is a big-play guy in a big game; he's won four rings." The health issue overshadowed for a few hours just how taken with the Cowboys this area is. When they arrived in Arizona for the Super Bowl, they were greeted by hundreds of fans at the airport — hi a town that has another NFL team, a division rival, no less. At their first news conference of the week, a prime topic was their popularity throughout the nation, the world. "You've even got true blue Cowboys fans up East," said safety Bill Bates. "You know they've got to be severe, hard-core fans to live up there with the Eagles and the Giants. They have to really love you, and that means a lot to us." It also puts more stress on being a Cowboy; the players have to deal with far more attention, at home and on the road, than most teams. T TAMPA BAY HEAD COACH Dungy gets next crack at building Bucs New coach first wants to instill winning attitude in minds of players By The Associated Press TAMPA, Fla. — Tony Dungy doesn't promise to save the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, just make them winners. He may not be Jimmy Johnson or Steve Spurrier, who would have sold tickets for the beleaguered franchise, but the NFL's newest head coach is confident he's equal to the task of getting the Bucs over the hump on the field. "The bottom line is how we produce and how we play, and I'm very confident that my team will play real well," Dungy said Monday after agreeing to completing a six-year deal. The Bucs haven't made the playoffs or finished above .500 since 1982 and Dungy said his first order of business will be to try to instill a winning attitude hi the players. DUNGY "I think we have some great, young players," he said. "There are some real building blocks and guys who are going to be able to do the things that I want to do and the things I feel are necessary to build a winning'team. And I think you're going to see that in the future." Dungy replaces Sam Wyche, who was fired Dec. 27 after compiling a 23-41 record in four seasons. The Bucs were 7-9 last year. Dungy emerged as the leading candidate for the job after University of Florida coach Spurrier rejected a $2 million per season offer, and talks with Johnson were short- circuited by Don Shula's retirement in Miami. "We did a lot. of research and talked to a lot of people," said Bucs general manager Rich McKay, "and didn't a negative thought or comment about Tony Dungy." The hiring ended a week of speculation that Dungy, 40, was on the verge of getting the job. It ended an even longer odyssey for him. Interviewed but passed over by four other teams hiring head coaches hi the last 10 years, the longtime assistant was beginning to wonder if he'd ever get his chance. T BROWN MACKIE MEN Limited Lions fall to Butler Brown Mackie plays without head coach, 2 starters and reserve By BOB DAVIDSON The Salina Journal Mark Bell knew the deck was stacked against him before he sat down at the table. Bell coached the Brown Mackie men's basketball team Monday night in the Lions' game against nationally ranked Butler County. He was substituting for head coach Francis Flax, who was serving an NJCAA Region 6-imposed one-game suspension after a fight Saturday at Central College of McPherson. Also serving missing were starting guard Damon Tankersley and reserve forward Brandon Taylor, who were also suspended for their roles in the fight. But it didn't end there. Starting center Marvin Wilson also didn't suit for the game for disciplinary reasons unrelated to the fight. The outmanned Lions battled hard, but wore Butler County 69 down late and dropped a 69-48 decision to the Grizzlies. "It was nerve-wracking," said Bell, who is the Lions' assistant coach. "We were going up against a nationally-ranked team short-handed. I didn't have a lot to work with. "But the kids played extremely hard. A couple of breaks and we could have been in it." Flax, Tankersley, Taylor and Wilson are expected to return Wednesday for the Lions' game against Hesston at the Bicentennial Center. Brown Mackie (10-12) trailed 4938 with six minutes left in the game, but faded down the stretch. Delvin Washington scored 21 points, 17 in the second half, as Butler County (14-5) snapped a two- game losing streak. "This game was for Cbach Flax," Bell said. "He was our inspiration. "Sixty-nine points isn't bad against a team like that. We played great defense." Bell credited Butler County's guards for disrupting the Lions' offense. Brown Mackie shot just 28 percent from the field for the game (14 of 50). The Lions committed nine first-half turnovers and. trailed 32-19 at the break. "They pressured our guards and made it hard to get it into the post," Bell said. "They frustrated us in the first half, so we went to our skeleton offense. Very basic. "We didn't have enough movement on offense. They were standing in the passing lanes. We got better movement and better offensive opportunities in the second half." Gary Johnson led Brown Mackie with 16 points. Mohammad Kamara added 10. Wayne Houston, the Lions' only legitimate big man, finished with eight points but had just one field goal. Bell wasn't the only coached who was pleased with his team's defensively play. "We've been going through some things since the break," Butler County coach Randy Smithson said. "We've been struggling to get back to the basics. We've struggled with our enthusiasm and energy. "Tonight was much better. Our commitment to defense was there. We needed a victory like this. Giving up only 48 points is pretty good. I was happy to get the kids playing hard again." Butler County shot 47.2 percent from the field (25 of 53). SUGGESTIONS? CALL BOB DAVIDSON, SPORTS EDITOR, AT (913) 823-6363 OR 1-800-827-6363

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