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Cleaves, Najera Hurt in Semifinal

March 20, 1999

ST. LOUIS (AP) _ Michigan State’s Mateen Cleaves and Oklahoma’s Eduardo Najera each got knocked out in a collision during Friday night’s NCAA Midwest Regional semifinal.

Najera set a pick as Michael Johnson brought the ball up the floor, and the top of Cleaves’ head struck Najera in the chin. Both players fell to the ground unconscious.

Najera lay on the floor for several minutes and finally had his bleeding chin bandaged while still on the court. Cleaves, an All-American point guard, sat up after a couple minutes and walked off under assistance.

The game was held up for about 10 minutes. The collision occurred with 9:34 remaining and Michigan State leading 36-31.

Cleaves returned with 6:54 remaining while Najera came back with 4:25 left.

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