Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Sutherland's Dunk Punctuates Mu's Easy Win over Cyclones

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Sutherland's Dunk Punctuates Mu's Easy Win over Cyclones

Article excerpt

His high school coach in Watertown, S.D., swore that a Jason Sutherland dunk could stir a crowd into a frenzy.

On Wednesday night at the Hearnes Center, the much-anticipated moment came: Sutherland, a freshman and winner of the 1992 Nike dunking contest, gathered a Kelly Thames pass and soared in for a jam that jump-started a 17-5 Missouri run in a 92-69 breeze past Iowa State.

"Everybody's been waiting on that all year," MU guard Melvin Booker said. "He's been waiting on it himself."

Much of the crowd of 13,349 rose to its feet as the 6-foot-1 Sutherland took off. Much of the crowd stayed on its feet as Sutherland beamed despite himself.

"I was trying to focus in on my free throw," said Sutherland, who was fouled on the play.

Sutherland converted the free throw - Mizzou made 17 of 19 from the line - to give the Tigers a 30-20 lead. That play also, as promised, lured the crowd into the game.

But only relatively, as miffed MU basketball coach Norm Stewart saw it.

"They put their hymnals down for about two minutes," Stewart said.

Stewart grew so frustrated with the sedate crowd in the second half that he prowled the sideline and implored the fans to get off their darned gluteus maximi.

"Don't anybody yell - there's a meeting at the library," he hollered at the crowd.

Asked why he had exhorted the crowd - which included St. Louis University coach Charlie Spoonhour and Cardinal Caravaners Ray Lankford and Brian Jordan - Stewart said, "Either that, or we ought to pass out the songbooks. . . . It seems like when you're in another building getting pounded, the decibels are so deafening. We've got good fans, but I'd like to see our ballplayers given just a little bit more."

With its 10th successive home victory, MU improved to 12-2 overall and 3-0 in the Big Eight Conference - alone at the top, as the Tigers travel to 2-0 Oklahoma State on Saturday. …

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