Iowa 59

(6-2, 1-2 away)

Texas Tech 65

(10-2, 9-0 home)

    9:00 PM ET, December 22, 2003

    American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas

    1 2 T
    IOWA 27 3259
    TTU 39 2665

    Alford: Playing Knight is 'always tough'

    DALLAS (AP) -- Steve Alford still hasn't beaten his former coach.

    That doesn't mean Texas Tech's Bob Knight is satisfied with being undefeated against the best player from the last of his three national championship teams at Indiana.

    "There's never been a time that I've played these kids that played for me or coached with me that I haven't wanted our kids to win," Knight said. "I don't like to see our guys lose, and I don't like to see Steve lose this game."

    But Andre Emmett, Knight's current star player at Tech, scored 23 points -- including the last six in a 10-0 first-half run that snapped an early tie -- and the Red Raiders beat Iowa 65-59 Monday night.

    Alford was part of 92 of Knight's wins at Indiana, including the 1987 national championship. They also shared an Olympic gold medal in 1984.

    But as a coach, Alford is 0-3 against Knight.

    "If I have to lose a game, I'd want to lose it to him," Alford said.

    Texas Tech (10-2) has won six straight games since losing 62-59 in another Dallas appearance three weeks ago at SMU. Pierre Pierce had 18 points for the Hawkeyes (6-2), who have lost their last two games.

    Despite their mutual respect for each other, Alford didn't speak at length with Knight after taking the Iowa job in 1999 until calling his former coach in January when his own team was struggling and he needed to talk to somebody about it.

    Still, both coaches insisted in the week leading up to the game that there are no problems with their relationship.

    "This is somebody that since I was in the third grade I've been following and watching and dreaming about playing for," Alford said. "And then all that takes place and I end up getting into coaching and coaching against him. It's always tough to go up against him."

    Before Monday night's game, their first against each other since Alford's first year at Iowa, the former player walked over to meet Knight. The two embraced lightly near midcourt and had an extended conversation, Alford smiling widely while Knight talked with his arm draped over the shoulder of his former player.

    Once the game started, Emmett took over and Alford's smile was gone.

    Darryl Dora's tip-in broke a 6-6 tie five minutes in to put the Red Raiders ahead to stay. He then followed an Iowa turnover with a jumper.

    Emmett's scored three straight baskets after that, starting with a 15-foot jumper and a tip-in after another turnover. Emmett then had a steal and drove for a layup to give Tech a 16-6 lead.

    Iowa didn't get closer than eight points before halftime, when Emmett already had 16 points and the Red Raiders led 39-27.

    The Hawkeyes opened the second half with a 8-2 run, getting to 41-35 after 3-pointers by Jeff Horner and Pierce.

    But even when Texas Tech went more than six minutes without scoring midway through the second half, Iowa scored just nine points to make it 52-48. With a chance to cut the deficit to two, the Hawkeyes missed three shots on the same possession and then made just two of their last six free throw attempts.

    Josh Washington's two free throws with 5:35 left broke Tech's scoring drought and Iowa never got closer.

    Knight was still at Indiana the first two times he went against Alford. Southwest Missouri lost 78-66 to the Hoosiers in 1997-98, and Alford's first Iowa team lost 74-71 four years ago.

    Unless there is an Iowa-Texas Tech matchup in the NCAA tournament, Alford won't get another shot against Knight until they play in a planned game next December in Chicago.

    Each time there is such a game, Knight is reminded of the times he had to face his former coach at Ohio State, Fred Taylor.

    "I hated that. I don't know how many times we won or they won," Knight said. "If we got beat, I didn't like that. If we win, I didn't like that either, and I mean really disliked it, probably more so than even with the kids now like Steve."

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    2003-04 Season

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