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Tiller, Missouri shock Kansas State

Feb 2, 2008 - 10:47 PM COLUMBIA, Missouri (Ticker) -- J.T. Tiller and Missouri made sure Kansas State suffered a letdown after a momentous victory.

Tiller scored a career-high 20 points as the shorthanded Tigers stunned the 24th-ranked Wildcats, 77-74, on Saturday in a Big 12 Conference game.

Missouri (13-9, 3-4 Big 12) was playing without three players - including leading scorer Stefhon Hannah, who is expected to miss the remainder of the season after breaking his jaw in an altercation outside a nightclub last weekend. Darryl Butterfield and Jason Horton remain suspended, but Leo Lyons and Marshall Brown returned Saturday.

"Give them credit. Obviously they'd had a little adversity here the last few days," Kansas State coach Frank Martin said. "(Missouri coach) Mike (Anderson) handled it like the stand-up guy that he is I must say, and he's kept those kids focused and ready to play and they came out, made shots and beat us."

The Wildcats (15-5, 5-1) were coming off an 84-75 victory over No. 2 Kansas on Wednesday. It was the school's first win at home against its in-state rival in 25 years and handed the Jayhawks their first loss of the season.

Missouri overcame a 44-34 halftime deficit to take a 75-72 lead on a conventional three-point play by Tiller with just over two minutes remaining.

"Sometimes adversity can in some kind of a way have a positive effect on a team," Anderson said. "Our kids, they're fighting hard, they're fighting together."

The Tigers took the lead for good with a 14-5 run over a five-minute span, keyed by seven points from Tiller.

"We started getting them to play the way we wanted them to play, up and down," Tiller said. "We just said we were going to leave it on the line and we weren't going to worry about fouls, and you saw the pace going faster and faster."

Michael Beasley's layup with 69 seconds left pulled with Wildcats within 75-74. After a missed layup by Lyons, Kansas State had a chance to take the lead. But Fred Brown missed a layup with seven seconds left, and Tiller promptly sank a pair of free throws with 6.4 seconds left.

"We just laid down," Beasley said. "We played like boys instead of men."

Bill Walker missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer, allowing Missouri to escape with the surprising victory. Lyons scored 13 points in his first game back, while Keon Lawrence added 11 for the Tigers, who shot 48 percent (30-of-62) from the field.

"We've been in this position a lot of times this season, and we've lost some tough ones," Tiller said. "We finished it this time."

The freshman Beasley paced five Kansas State players with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Blake Young had 14 points, Walker and Dominique Sutton each added 11 and Clent Stewart chipped in with 10.

The Wildcats shot 49 percent (28-of-57) from the floor.

"Here's the deal: (If) you want to play Missouri on the road, you better not turn the basketball over," Martin said. "We turned it over. We had I think either 10 or 11 turnovers in the second half. We do that on offense and then just don't defend; we've got no chance to win."