3:20 PM ET, March 12, 2004
American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas
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.