Homecourt edge

After a couple of weeks of conference play, the Big 12 Conference has shown much parity. A lot of credit belongs to the fans.

Most Big 12 coaches agree that conference venues are some of the toughest places to play in the nation. Big 12 fans have made it tougher than ever this year. For the first time, the Big 12’s nonconference record broke the .800 mark with 109 wins and 27 losses.

Tigers’ progression stalls at KSU

There are two kinds of losses.

There are the losses in which you improve and take positive signs from. Close losses to teams like No. 6 Oklahoma State or No. 1 Illinois are those kinds of losses.

Rams looked little like elite team of past in playoff defeat

ST. LOUIS — In the end, the St. Louis Rams looked more like a .500 team than a dangerous playoff spoiler.

The across-the-board spanking they absorbed in Saturday’s 47-17 playoff loss to the Falcons exposed so many problems that coach Mike Martz might not know where to start. It’s unfamiliar territory for a franchise accustomed to being near the top but one that endured a most dysfunctional season.

Patriots quiet Manning

FOXBORO, Mass. — The quintessential quarterback keeps running into the quintessential team.

For the second year in a row, the New England Patriots made MVP Peyton Manning look ordinary and his Indianapolis teammates inept, this time beating them 20-3 on Sunday behind Corey Dillon’s 144 yards rushing. The Pats held the ball nearly 38 minutes, leaving Manning hardly any time to work his magic.

Tigers outmaneuvered

MANHATTAN, Kan. —The major difference in Kansas State’s 74-54 stomping of Missouri was the free-throw line.

The Wildcats (11-3, 1-2) scored 25 points on 34 attempts from the line while Missouri had trouble getting to the line, hitting just 7-of-15.

Kewpie plays role in Wildcat win over Tigers

MANHATTAN, KAN. – Kansas State’s first two Big 12 Conference games were heartbreakers and sophomores Lance Harris and Cartier Martin weren’t about to endure another.

Harris and Martin made big plays late in the second half, negating an attempted Tigers rally and giving the Wildcats a 74-54 win Saturday at Bramlage Coliseum.

Missouri drives to Kansas

MANHATTAN, Kan. — The Missouri men’s basketball team almost didn’t make it to its game against Kansas State on Saturday. After the 20-point beating it suffered at the Wildcats’ hands, the Tigers probably wished they hadn’t.

The Tigers had planned to fly to Manhattan on a charter flight, but the plane had mechanical problems while being serviced in Des Moines, Iowa, forcing the team to find an alternate means of transportation.

Missouri fades fast against Iowa State

The lead changed with 9:25 left.

It stayed close, just not close enough.

super SIZE ’em

Hulking masses of flesh, fat and muscle, linemen are relentless bulldozers in the trenches of football.

A block here or closing a gap there, their sometimes subtle work without the football creates their teammates’ opportunities, dictates the tempo of the game and yet, receives little fanfare. An unnoticed lineman is usually an effective one.

Recognition boosts Cyclones

Most coaches say their teams don’t pay attention to the rankings, but Iowa State’s Bill Fennelly said the Cyclones’ first appearance this season in the Associated Press poll this week at No. 24 was a thrill.

“Our kids were ecstatic,” Fennelly said. “We made a big deal. We put 24 on the scoreboard, we’re proud of it.”

Tigers, Wildcats improving

Missouri basketball coach Quin Snyder said he thought his team gave away the game when Missouri lost 78-68 to Oklahoma State on Tuesday.

The Tigers collapsed in the final six minutes, allowing the Cowboys to score 10 straight points after leading Oklahoma State for much of the second half.

Receivers coming on strong for Rams

ST. LOUIS — Depth at wide receiver is bringing the St. Louis Rams closer to their glory days on offense.

The Atlanta Falcons’ secondary will have more than the 1-2 punch of Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce to contend with on Saturday night. Kevin Curtis is coming off his first career 100-yard game and Shaun McDonald also has been a threat, giving Marc Bulger four speedy targets.

Tigers not satisfied with coming close

STILLWATER, OKLA. — Leave it to Missouri’s Jason Conley to speak it straight.

Sure the Tigers went into Gallagher-Iba Arena and nearly beat the seventh-ranked Cowboys.

Hargrove elated to play large role in Rams’ success

ST. LOUIS — A year ago, Anthony Hargrove was doing grunt work for an airline in Atlanta. The rookie defensive end returns to his home base this weekend as a starter for the St. Louis Rams.

“It means the world to you,” Hargrove said Wednesday. “How would you feel if this was your first year, your team is in the playoffs, and now you’re playing well and you’re part of the starting lineup that’s really starting to come on?

Lucas leads Cowboys by Missouri

STILLWATER, OKLA — Missouri put a scare in No. 7 Oklahoma State, but in the end the Cowboys just had one too many weapons for the Tigers to contend with.

Missouri lost to Oklahoma State 78-68 Tuesday.

Sutton reaches milestone

STILLWATER, OKLA — Oklahoma State coach Eddie Sutton celebrated much more than a victory. He celebrated a milestone.

The Cowboys (12-1, 2-0) defeated the Tigers (9-6, 1-1) with a late surge and unbelievable free throw shooting. The win brought Suttons’ win total to 767.

Missouri women go down hard, 87-44

No offense and no rebounding equaled no contest.

It was over early.

The Missouri women’s basketball team lost 87-44 to No. 23-ranked Kansas State on Tuesday night in Manhattan. This was the Tigers’ lowest scoring game of the season, and its worse defeat ever in conference play.

Lucas uses every tool

STILLWATER, OKLA. — Oklahoma State’s John Lucas likes to make good use of all of his available resources to prepare for the game.

And that includes the ball boys.

Wrestlers lose first match

The Missouri wrestlers took their first loss of the season, 22-17 to No. 6 Lehigh in a match that was decided in the final bout of the night.

Missouri fell behind by as many as 15-points, but came back to lead following a five-bout win streak by Cody Greene (149), Brad Cielseki (157), Tyron Woodly (165), Ben Askren (174) and Matt Pell (184).

Win helps Hickman gain momentum

The Hickman girls’ basketball team took another step toward regaining their form of last season.

The Kewpies beat Kirksville 48-38 on Monday night at Hickman.