English leads No. 5 Missouri past Oklahoma State

Undersized and maybe not as quick as many opponents, Keiton Page

still fought his heart out game after game and made more 3-pointers

than any other player in Oklahoma State history.

Now comes the hard part. After an 88-70 loss to No. 5 Missouri

on Thursday night in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 tournament,

Page was looking at the probable end of his college career.

”It’s going to be tough (to take off the jersey), especially

coming from a guy who wanted to be a Cowboy ever since he was

little,” Page said. ”It’s been a fast four years, but it’s been

the best four years of my life.”

When coach Travis Ford took him off the court with about 48

seconds left, thousands of people in the Sprint Center, many

wearing other school colors, gave him a standing ovation.’

”That doesn’t surprise me,” Ford said. ”If you love the game

of basketball, then you love Keiton Page because he’s what it’s all

about. And if you don’t like Keiton Page, then there’s something

wrong with you. I mean, there really is.”

The loss sent the Cowboys home with a 15-18 record.

”To play with great, great teammates and then put in a great

opportunity under this coaching staff – just a million memories

I’ll never forget,” said Page, who scored a team-high 22

points.

Missouri, in the meantime, barreled into the semifinals on the

heels of one of its best halves of the season. Kim English scored

21 of his 27 points in the first half and led a 26-5 run that put

the Tigers firmly in control.

Marcus Denmon added 24 points and Phil Pressey had 12 assists,

one short of a school record for the Tigers (28-4).

Many fans are hoping for a showdown with archrival and No. 3

Kansas in the title game Saturday.

”We are in Kansas City, Missouri,” said Denmon, a KC native.

”This is home for me. Missouri fans come out well too.”

The Tigers also outrebounded the Cowboys 40-20.

”We were slow motion,” Ford said. ”They were fast

motion.”

The game-seizing run in the first half, Ford said, started with

Missouri’s defense.

”Their defense was just stifling. They played with such great

energy. We were tired. I could see it. They’re a veteran,

experienced, physically tough basketball team. They might not be

the tallest team, but they are a physical team. We’re just the

opposite. We’re young. And they were playing to their strengths.

Their defense led to offense.”

Brian Williams had 21 points for the Cowboys.

”We fought adversity against one of the best teams in America

that was playing great,” Ford said. ”When they’re playing to

their strength, there are not many teams better in this

country.”

It was 6-all when English drilled a long 3-pointer and set the

rout in motion as the Tiger overwhelmed one of the four teams that

beat them in the regular season. English had 10 points in a 15-0

spree to stake the Tigers to a 21-6 lead.

With 3:08 left in the half, English had 21 points and had

personally outscored the Cowboys, who trailed 41-17 after English

grabbed Matt Pressey’s pass and dropped it through the net for his

ninth field goal. Phil Pressey at that point had eight assists and

five steals in just 6 minutes.