Now, St. Joe's and its dazzling backcourt are heading to the
round of 16 for the first time in seven years.
West scored 13 of his 15 points in the first half, and Nelson
had 14 of his 24 in the second, sparking the Hawks to a 70-65
second-round NCAA Tournament win over Texas Tech on Saturday.
rebounds for Saint Joseph's.
Nelson and West were no surprise. Together they represent one of
the nation's best backcourts, averaging a combined 39 points and 10
assists a game this season.
The Hawks (29-1) continue to prove worthy of their No. 1 seed,
and will meet fourth-seeded Wake Forest (21-9) in next week's East
Rutherford Regional semifinal.
Andre Emmett led Texas Tech (23-11) with 18 points. For Red
Raiders coach Bob Knight, it marked the second time he's left a
Buffalo with a tournament loss.
Knight coached what proved to be his last game with Indiana when
the Hoosiers lost an opening round game 77-57 to Pepperdine in the
Saturday's game was much more compelling, not decided until the
Texas Tech erased a seven-point deficit by tying the game at 60
when Emmett hit one of two free throws with 5:09 remaining.
Pat Carroll responded with a 3-pointer, putting Saint Joseph's
ahead for good.
Nelson followed with a 3-pointer and then hit two free throws on
the Hawks' next two possessions, giving Saint Joseph's a 68-62 lead
with 75 seconds left.
The Red Raiders offense went cold, missing six of its last seven
attempts, including Jarrius Jackson's awkward 3-point attempt with
10 seconds left.
Saint Joseph's, coming off Thursday's 82-63 opening-round win
over Liberty, was inconsistent early against Texas Tech. Nelson,
who scored a season-high 33 points against Liberty, was
particularly off, missing five of his first six attempts.
West picked up the slack with Nelson missing five straight, and
the Hawks down 19-12. The shooting guard hit five straight shots
and scored 11 points in sparking a 24-2 run.
After hitting 18- and 8-footers, West put the Hawks up 22-21
with a 3-point basket with 9:45 left in the half. He then capped
the run -- in which Saint Joseph's hit eight straight shots -- by
completing a strong drive with a layup, giving the Hawks a 36-23
The Red Raiders seemed stunned during that eight-minute stretch,
missing nine of 10 attempts before Michael Marshall hit a 16-footer
to cut the lead to 36-27 with 3:44 left.
The Red Raiders lost guard Ronald Ross, one of their top
defenders, who limped off the court, favoring his right leg seven
minutes into the second half. He stayed on the bench before
returning with 1:15 remaining.