Texas Tech 69

(7-6, 1-2 away)

New Mexico St 63

(4-7, 3-3 home)

    9:05 PM ET, December 29, 2005

    Pan American Center, Las Cruces, New Mexico

    1 2 T
    TTU 28 4169
    NMSU 28 3563

    Top Performers

    Texas Tech: J. Jackson 24 Pts, 4 Reb, 6 Ast, 4 Stl

    New Mexico State: T. Nelson 22 Pts, 9 Reb, 1 Ast, 2 Stl

    Texas Tech 69, New Mexico State 63

    LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) -- Texas Tech coach Bob Knight has been disappointed with the way his team has started games this season and he hasn't exactly been pleased with the way the Red Raiders have finished them, either.

    Texas Tech again stumbled out of the gate Thursday night, trailing New Mexico State 14-6 early on. But Tech finished strong and the result was a hard-fought 69-63 win over the Aggies.

    Thanks to an efficient offense, a solid rebounding edge and free throws down the stretch, the Red Raiders (7-6) got their first road win of the season. Tech made 5-of-6 free throws in the final 36 seconds to clinch the win.

    "We got a little spread there at the end," said Knight. "(Jarrius) Jackson missed a free throw, but other than that, we did everything we needed to do there at the end of the game and that's the first time this year that we've done that."

    Jackson and fellow guard Martin Zeno combined for 45 points to pace the Red Raiders. Jackson scored a game-high 24 points and Zeno added 21.

    Tyrone Nelson led New Mexico State (4-7) with 22 points and nine rebounds. Mike Mitchell added 14 points and Elijah Ingram added 13 points.

    NMSU held its last lead, 54-53, with 5:18 to play when Tech's offensive patience began to pay off. When the Red Raiders weren't getting the ball inside for easy baskets, they were draining free throws.

    Tech took the lead for good, 55-54, with 4:15 to play on an inside basket by Zeno, then went ahead by three when Jackson sank a pair of free throws with 3:57 to play.

    Nelson scored on an inside bucket for NMSU to make it 57-56, but Jackson and Zeno each sank two more free throws to put Tech up 61-56.

    The Aggies remained close thanks to a pair of free throws and a high-arching 3-pointer by Ingram and a driving basket by Nelson. But Tech put the game away with free throws in the final 1:40.

    "This was the best team we've beaten this year," Knight said.

    Tech held a 34-26 rebounding advantage and got 22 second-chance points, compared to only four for NMSU.

    While the Red Raiders did most of their damage inside, the Aggies tried to strike from 3-point range but made only eight of 22 attempts. Tech was 4-for-7 from beyond the 3-point arc.

    First-year Aggie coach Reggie Theus pointed to the 3-point difference as an example of his team's inability to make good decisions on offense. He called the 3s "fool's gold."

    "Obviously, (the Red Raiders) are very well coached," Theus said. "They run their stuff until they get a good look. From a talent standpoint, they're very average. They have a couple of real solid players, but they just run their stuff. This game is very simple, but we make it hard."

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 69 63
    FG Made-Attempted 25-51 (.490) 22-51 (.431)
    3P Made-Attempted 4-7 (.571) 8-22 (.364)
    FT Made-Attempted 15-19 (.789) 11-16 (.688)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 16 (0/0) 17 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 6 8

    2005-06 Season

    » Dec 29, 2005 TTU 69, @NMSU 63Recap