Howard ejected as Michigan beats Maryland; Oklahoma St. upsets Baylor
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Michigan coach Juwan Howard was ejected midway through the second half after getting into a shouting match with the Maryland bench, and the No. 4 Wolverines won 79-66 Friday to reach the Big Ten semifinals.
Mike Smith scored 18 points and set a Big Ten Tournament record with 15 assists for top-seeded Michigan (20-3). The Wolverines rallied from a 12-point first-half deficit and will face No. 9 Ohio State in Saturday’s semifinals.
Michigan swung the game by ending the first half on a 16-2 run and starting the second half on an 11-4 spurt.
But during a timeout with 10:44 to go, Howard walked toward midcourt and shouted toward the Maryland bench. The refs called two technical fouls on Howard and another on Terrapins coach Mark Turgeon, who was not ejected.
Franz Wagner and Eli Brooks each scored 16 points for the league’s regular-season champs.
Eric Ayala scored 19 points and Darryl Morsell added 16 to lead the eighth-seeded Terrapins (16-13).
NO. 6 ALABAMA 85, MISSISSIPPI STATE 48
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Jahvon Quinerly scored 14 points off the bench, Jaden Shackelford had 13 points and Alabama blew out Mississippi State in a Southeastern Conference Tournament quarterfinal.
The No. 6 Crimson Tide (22-6) will face the Florida-Tennessee winner in Saturday’s semifinals.
Playing as the tournament’s top seed for the first time since 2002, the Crimson Tide followed a couple of small early runs before going on a 17-0 surge over five minutes for a 43-13 cushion just before halftime.
Iverson Molinar scored 18 points, Tolu Smith had 11 and Abdul Ado grabbed 11 rebounds for ninth-seeded Mississippi State (15-14).
NO. 12 OKLAHOMA STATE 83, NO. 2 BAYLOR 74
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Confidence has never been a problem for Oklahoma State freshman Cade Cunningham.
That came in handy Friday night.
With the No. 12 Cowboys trying to rally from a second-half hole against second-ranked Baylor in the Big 12 Tournament, Cunningham calmly responded with back-to-back 3-pointers to give his team the lead. Then, he stepped to the foul line and calmly made a series of free throws down the stretch that clinched an 83-74 victory in the semifinal round.
“I’m a confident player. I feel like every shot I shoot is supposed to go in,” said Cunningham, the projected No. 1 pick in the upcoming NBA draft. “I try to shoot them with confidence and make plays that my teammates need.”
His teammates didn’t let him carry the load alone.
Avery Anderson III added 20 points, including the go-ahead three-point play with just over two minutes to go, and Rondel Walker had 11 as the No. 5 seed Cowboys (20-7) advanced to play No. 13 Texas for the title Saturday night.
The third-seeded Longhorns advanced earlier Friday when their semifinal against No. 11 Kansas was canceled because of a positive COVID-19 test that forced the Jayhawks to withdraw from the tournament. While the Cowboys have two Big 12 tourney titles to their credit, Texas has never won the event in six appearances in the finals.
The Bears have never won a conference tournament title, either — and won’t this year. They’ll remain 0-3 in the Big 12 title game for at least another year after winning their first regular-season league championship since 1950.
MaCio Teague scored 17 points and Jared Butler had 16 for the Bears (22-2), who had won 10 of their last 11 against the Cowboys after sweeping them in the regular season. Davion Mitchell also had 13 points for coach Scott Drew’s team.
The Cowboys face Texas in the championship game. Oklahoma State split the season series with the Longhorns, losing a 77-74 nail-biter in December before winning a 75-67 double-overtime thriller early last month.