2:30 PM ET, January 1, 2004
United Spirit Arena, Lubbock, Texas
LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) -- Bob Knight experienced a bit of deja vu Thursday in Texas Tech's 90-73 win over Minnesota.In the consolation game of the NIT tournament last season, Tech twice let big leads slip before winning 71-61.On Thursday, Minnesota whittled an 18-point Tech lead to 12 going into the locker room at the half."We kind of slipped a little bit in the final four minutes of the first half," Knight said. "It was almost exactly what happened to us when we played Minnesota in Madison Square Garden last spring."Knight was pleased about how his players responded when Minnesota managed to diffuse Andre Emmett's scoring somewhat."When people really basically attack Emmett, then we've got to have some other people that score and we did," he said.Five Tech players had double figures. Jarrius Jackson scored 20 points, Emmett scored 17, Darryl Dora had 15, Robert Tomaszek added 11 and Ronald Ross had 10.Texas Tech (11-2) shot the ball well, especially in the second half when the Red Raiders scored on 12-of-13 possessions. The Red Raiders finished at 58 percent from the field, hitting on 34-of-60,The Golden Gophers (6-4) cut the margin to seven in the opening minutes of the second half but Tech answered with a 10-2 run to go up 56-41 with 14:58 remaining. Minnesota never threatened again."We're not at the level of Texas Tech right now," said Minnesota coach Dan Monson. "Intensity-wise, we could not answer them on the defensive end of the court. We were never able to get them out of their rhythm. They got things going, and then all of a sudden, everything is going in for them."Tech built its largest lead at 90-68 on a layup by Curtis Marshall with 50 seconds left in the game.Kris Humphries scored 21 points and Ben Johnson added 11 for the Gophers.The Red Raiders used a 15-4 run to go up 29-12 with 8:29 remaining in the half. In a 10-minute span the Gophers turned the ball over nine times and scored only two field goals.Knight, who in recent weeks has chastised fans for low attendance at home games, took the microphone to thank the crowd after the game."We really appreciate the turnout we had on a holiday," said Knight, alluding to the 10,524 who came through the turnstiles Thursday. "Thanks very much."It was the largest crowd of the season by about 2,100.He went on to tell the crowd that students won't be back for classes when Tech opens its Big 12 season against Oklahoma State on Jan. 10."So make damn sure you're there then too," he said.A few moments later, Knight returned to the microphone and told the remaining fans, "I really didn't mean to say 'damn.' I'm trying to work on my language, so just make sure you're there."In a recent interview Knight did on ESPN with Iowa coach Steve Alford, one of his former players in Indiana, some of Knight's language had to be bleeped out. He subsequently apologized.
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