Big 12 Rally Falls Short in Second Loss

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August 13, 1998

BAD HONNEF, Germany - The Big 12 Conference All-Star Basketball Team ran into another hot shooting opponent in a 77-75 loss Wednesday to Germany's Tatami Rhondorf Dragons.

The Big 12 All-Stars (3-2), who spent most of the day traveling from Oostende, Belgium, lost for the second straight night. The Big 12's six-game European schedule will conclude Thursday in Bonn. The all-stars will depart for France on Friday and return to the United States on Sunday.

"It's been a pretty difficult transition," said Oklahoma point guard Michael Johnson. "We play hard and strong in the Big 12. Over here, whatever move you make, it's a foul and you really can't get into the game. As soon as you foul, you've got to back up off them and that gives them more of a chance to run their offense. That's a big problem right now for us."

The Dragons shot 50.8 percent from the field, including 60.7 in the first half. The all-stars were limited to a 42.9 clip and made 36.3 from three-point range. The Big 12 was also hurt by missed free throws in a 53.8 percent performance from the charity stripe.

"These teams are really good," said Texas Tech Head Coach James Dickey. "They are professional. They execute. They are well coached. They can really shoot the basketball. The thing that is so impressive is how well they move without the basketball. They make the extra pass and they knock down the shots."

Oklahoma State guard Adrian Peterson led the Big 12 team with 13 points. Texas center Chris Mihm and Iowa State's Martin Rancik tallied 11 points. Nebraska center Venson Hamilton notched 10 points and logged his fourth double-double in five games with 10 rebounds.

"I thought our guys really competed," Dickey said. "We made some big plays defensively. We just couldn't get a basket when we needed one to get ahead or get a defensive stop when we got even to take control of the game."

With the game in doubt in the final minute, the Dragons cashed in with baskets after two Big 12 turnovers to build a 76-70 lead. Mihm's tip-in cut the lead to four before one free throw from former Tulsa player Gary Collier made the lead 77-72.

The Big 12 made a final run when Peterson's third three-pointer cut the edge to 77-75. After forcing a turnover, the all-stars logged one last effort with 2.5 seconds remaining. Kansas center Eric Chenowith hit Mihm witha full-court baseball pass, but the Longhorn sophomore could not get a shot off before the final buzzer as Dickey argued for a foul to no avail.

"We had a chance at the end," Dickey said. "We just couldn't get a look at the basket."

For Tatami Rhondorf, Collier scored 34 points to lead all scorers, hitting 14 of 23 field goal attempts. The Dragons' Matt Alosa hit seven of nine shots en route to 17 points.

The Big 12 team learned Wednesday firsthand the difficulties of travel on a gameday. The 11-man Big 12 All-Stars departed Osstende at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday after the 96-79 loss at Sunair. After stopping in Brussels for an hour of sightseeing, the team arrived at its German headquarters of Konigswinter at 4:30 p.m.

"Over here, it's kind of like you have to adjust to w whole new set of rules each time you play," said Missouri guard Jeff Hafer. "That's part of the mental toughness you've got to have along with the travel, the tired legs, being tired mentally and being tired physically. In the United States, we are used to a certain style of ball that is fairly consistent. Over here, it varies from every country we are in."

The Big 12 trailed 45-39 at halftime, but bounced back to tie the game at 51-51 as Hamilton scored eight points in the first 5:50 of the second period. Back-to-back baskets from Collier streaked the Dragons' lead to 56-51 with 13:05 to play.

Down 60-53 with 10:21 left in the game, the Big 12 put together a 14-3 run. Peterson scored eight points during the go ahead run, including back-to-back three-pointer, to lead the Big 12 to a 67-63 edge with 6:29 to play.

Texas Tech's Rayford Young hit two free throws at the 5:17 mark for a 69-65 Big 12 advantage. However, the Dragons held the all-stars scoreless for more than two minutes during a 7-0 run. Collier hit one of his four three-pointers with 4:55 left to put Tatami Rhondorf up for good at 70-69. Alosa followed with a basket to make the lead 72-69.

Baylor's Jamie Kendrick's free throw cut the Dragons' lead to two points at 72-70 with 3:19 left. Neither team scored until an Alosa layup with 46 seconds left made the edge 74-70. Collier followed with a basket after a Big 12 turnover to up the advantage to 76-70.

In the first half, the Dragons jumped out to a fast lead at 12-4 thanks to a 12-1 run in the first four minutes. The Big 12 answered later in the period with an 11-2 run that put the all-stars up 26-23 when Johnson hit back-to-back baskets and Hafer hit a three-pointer.

The Big 12 lead did not last as the Dragons reeled off a 14-2 streak to jump ahead by nine points, 37-28, with 5:10 left in the opening half. Mihm's basket with less than three minutes left cut the lead to two at 39-37. Next, Collier's three-point play made the lead 42-37 en route to Tatami Rhondorf's 45-39 halftime lead.

NOTES: The parents of Iowa State's Martin Rancik made the nine-hour drive from Slovakia to watch the game...Dickey started Kansas' Eric Chenowith, Kansas State's Shawn Rhodes, Colordo's Kenny Price, Rancik, and Texas Tech's Rayford Young...With the six-game schedule wrapping up on Thursday, the team will leave for France early Friday for two nights in Paris...The team's hotel in Oostende, Belgium, was on the beach. The hotel in Germany overlooks the Rhein River.


BIG 12: Shawn Rhodes 0-1 0-0 0, Martin Rancik 5-8 0-0 11, Eric Chenowith 1-6 1-2 3, Rayford Young 1-7 2-2 4, Kenny Price 2-7 0-0 6, Venson Hamilton 5-5 0-0 10, Jeff Hafer 2-4 0-0 5, Jamie Kendrick 1-2 4-5 5, Michael Johnson 3-3 0-0 6, Chris Mihm 5-10 2-5 12, Adrian Peterson 5-16 0-0 13, TOTALS 30-70 7-13 75.

TATAMI RHONDORF: Mitchell 4-13 2-2 10, Wilson 1-1 0-0 2, Kuprella 1-2 1-2 4, Collier 13-23 2-3 34, Maassmann 1-1 0-0 2, Mehrens 2-7 1-1 5, Alosa 7-9 3-4 17, Frisch 0-3 3-4 3, TOTALS 30-59 12-16 77.

Halftime - Tatami Rhonforf 45, Big 12 39. 3-point goals - Big 12 8-22 (Rancik 1-1, Young 0-1, Price 2-6, Hafer 1-3, Kendrick 1-1, Peterson 3-10), Tatami Rhonforf 5-16 (Mitchell 0-3, Kuprella 1-1, Collier 4-8, Mehrens 0-2, Alosa 0-2). Fouled out - none. Rebounds - Big 12 54 (Hamilton 10), Tatami Rhonforf 28 (Collier 6). Assists - Big 12 17 (Johnson 4), Tatami Rhonforf 13 (Alosa 7). Total fouls - Big 12 20, Tatami Rhonforf 14. Technicals - none. Attendance - 250.




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