Big 12 Tournament Notebook

Bad shooting and other defensive shortcomings plagued Kansas State enough in the first half, but the Wildcats' first half spiraled further out of control with a pair of technical fouls over a span of 2:48.

Head coach Jim Woolridge drew the first while disputing a foul call with referee Curtis Shaw, then post player Marques Hayden lost his head during a three-point play by ISU's Jared Homan with 8:56 remaining in the half.

"I don't know what happened with the second (technical)," said Woolridge when asked about the play afterwards. "I don't have any idea. It was probably the result of the scrum. As far as mine, I can't remember what I was upset about. It was probably a short fuse on my part and a short fuse on Curtis Shaw's part. They make mistakes, too. I made one and he made one. That's the way I see it."

Regardless of who was at fault, the Cyclones' extra opportunities gained from the two technicals shouldn't be underestimated. Woolridge's technical occurred during the middle of a 16-3 run by ISU, which would put it up by a 21-8 margin.

After the Wildcats cut the deficit to 10 points, Hayden drew his technical foul, which led to three made field goals by ISU and a 28-13 lead.

Hand and all, Stinson fine

ISU freshman guard Curtis Stinson put together one of his best efforts of the season Thursday, despite nursing a severely sprained left (non-shooting) hand. He was nearly flawless from the field, making 11-of-13 shots, to score a game-high 24 points.

Stinson's duties as a point guard picked up during the final month of the regular season, as fellow freshman Will Blalock's production dropped off. But much of Stinson's work Thursday came as an off-guard, while Blalock came off the bench to play 28 minutes and hand out five assists.

"Will was terrific today," said ISU head coach Wayne Morgan. "He handled the ball and that enabled Curtis in stretches of the game to play without the ball. Will got the ball to people and made some great passes. He improved his defense and played harder."

During the post-game press conference, Stinson provided assurances that his hand was better than many expected coming into postseason competition.

"At first (my hand) was a problem, but it's OK now," Stinson said. "The hand is doing fine. My trainer makes sure I'm all right. It's not affecting me too much anymore. I'm handling it, I'm playing hard, and I don't feel it too much."

No Mas-sey

Wildcat post player Jeremiah Massey proved to be a thorn in the Cyclones' side during the regular season, but was anything but on Thursday. ISU's defense helped limit him to just one shot from the field and three points in 18 minutes. Of course, Massey's shortcomings on the defensive end of the court also impacted his play.

Aggressive play from ISU's post players, particularly Jared Homan (14 points and 14 rebounds), put Massey in foul trouble from the start. He ended up fouling out with 8:26 remaining in the game.

"We absolutely take that (one shot in 18 minutes)," Morgan said. "Our game plan was to get at him."

CN would like to thank Off Campus Apparel & Novelties for making our coverage of the Big 12 Tournament possible. If you're looking for Cyclone merchandise, chances are Off Campus Apparel & Novelties has it. You can visit Off Campus Apparel & Novelties year-round at 4090 Merle Hay Road in Des Moines.


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