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Wait-and-see time for Buffs

3/12/2004

DALLAS (AP) -- Bill Parcells provided the pregame talk and Mikey
Marshall gave Texas Tech the needed spark on the court.

Marshall scored a career-high 23 points on 8-of-9 shooting and
the Red Raiders, after hearing from the Dallas Cowboys coach who is
a longtime friend of Bob Knight, beat Colorado 79-69 Friday in the
Big 12 tournament.

"I'm not sure that we've had a kid since I've been at Tech that
has played a singular game as well as Mike played this one,"
Knight said.

During the regular season, when Marshall's role was to come off
the bench to provide a spark for short spurts, he averaged just 3.5
points a game. His previous high was 14 in back-to-back games in
January, and he hadn't made a 3-pointer since his last
double-figure scoring game Feb. 7.

Marshall made four 3-pointers against Colorado, including one in
a 12-3 run in the second half that broke open a tight game and put
Texas Tech (22-9) ahead to stay.

"We let him have a career day against us," said Blair Wilson,
who led Colorado with 16 points. "Whenever you allow a so-called
role player to do that, you're in trouble."

Ronald Ross also scored a career high with 25 points, but he was
coming off a 23-point game in the regular season finale and had
twice scored 24 this season. Ross and Marshall both had seven
rebounds.

Jarrius Jackson's slam dunk with 15:20 left gave Tech a 42-41
lead, and Ross followed with a 3-pointer. Andre Emmett, the Big 12
career scoring leader, then scored four of his 13 points on a long
jumper and a one-handed swoop shot in traffic before Marshall's
3-pointer made it 52-44.

"I'm pretty much a role player and Andre is our go-to guy. We
just need people to step up tonight," Marshall said. "Not many
teams expect as much as I did tonight. You've got to have that
mindset that you can accomplish that goal."

Colorado (18-10), which had won five of its last six games
including an 85-75 win over Tech last month, didn't get closer than
four after that.

The Buffaloes have to wait to see if they go to the NCAA
tournament for the second year in a row. The last went to
consecutive tournaments in 1962 and 1963.

"If we're not selected, I think it'd be a tragedy," center
David Harrison said. "It's because our last name is Colorado. If
someone with the same record happened to be Kansas or Missouri, it
wouldn't be a question. For us to be on the bubble, it's kind of
insulting."

Marcus Hall added 14 points for Colorado, and Glean Eddy had 10.

The Red Raiders play No. 7 Oklahoma State (25-3) in the Big 12
semifinal round Saturday. Oklahoma State, the regular season Big 12
champion, beat Iowa State 83-75 in the first game Friday.

Despite being the No. 5 seed, Texas Tech was playing its first
Big 12 game Friday. The Red Raiders benefited with a first-round
bye because of the absence of Baylor, which is sitting out of the
tournament as part of self-imposed penalties for NCAA violations
that occurred under former coach Dave Bliss.

Even if they don't win the Big 12, the Red Raiders seem certain
for their second NCAA appearance in three seasons under Knight.
They went to the NIT semifinal last season.

Parcells sat behind the Texas Tech bench during the game. But
his real impact came in the locker room before the game.

"Nobody in my lifetime could give our team a pregame talk that
could have been any better than Bill Parcells made," Knight said.
"We had a little extra advantage today. What he talked about was
really good."

Marshall, who didn't score at Colorado last month, had all of
his 10 first points in a seven-minute span that pushed the Red
Raiders from a one-point deficit to a 32-25 lead on his second
3-pointer with 3:41 left.

The Red Raiders went ahead 19-18 when Marshall made a long
jumper with Chris Copeland in his face, a play that was reviewed to
determine his foot was on the 3-point line when he shot.

Marshall also had a one-handed reverse layup before the
spurt-closing 3-pointer, but Colorado tied the game at 34 by
halftime. The Buffs were aided by a four-point play by Michel
Morandais, who was fouled on a made 3-pointer, and one of Wilson's
3-pointers.