- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 12, 2009

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - DeMarre Carroll scored 19 points and No. 14 Missouri used a pair of second-half spurts to avoid an upset at the Big 12 tournament, beating Texas Tech 81-60 in the quarterfinals Thursday night.

The Tigers (26-6) watched regular-season champion Kansas, second-seeded Oklahoma and No. 4 seed Kansas State all fell victim to upsets earlier in the day but used runs of 13 and 10 consecutive points to put away the Red Raiders (14-19).

J.T. Tiller and Matt Lawrence each added 13 points for third-seeded Missouri, which advances to face seventh-seeded Oklahoma State in the semifinals Friday night.

Mike Singletary led the Red Raiders with 17 points, one night after he scored 29 straight Texas Tech points to lead the biggest comeback in Big 12 tournament history. Nick Okorie added 13 points.

The Tigers ended a three-year drought at the conference tournament, winning for the first time since 2005 and setting up only their third appearance in the semifinals.

Leo Lyons had a tiebreaking two-handed jam and then leaned in for another basket from the right block to start the 13-point run that put Missouri in control early in the second half. Tiller had a tip-in and a pair of free throws in the surge before Zaire Taylor found Carroll under the basket for a layup that made it 48-35 with 14:46 remaining.

The advantage stretched to 16 about a minute later when Tiller beat the defense back for a fast-break layup that turned into a three-point play. And the Tigers’ relentless defense still had one big knockout punch left in it.

Tiller added two of Missouri’s four layups during the 10-0 burst that put the lead at 67-48, and the Tigers eventually led by as much as 22.

Missouri went 31-for-56 from the field (55 percent), piling up 48 points in the paint and 15 off of turnovers.

Singletary scored 10 of his points in the second half, but never got on the kind of roll that gave him a tournament record 43 points in the Red Raiders’ upset of sixth-seeded Texas A&M; the night before.

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