COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP)—Bob Knight drew up the play and Andre Emmett executed it perfectly.
Emmett scored 23 points and battled through arms and elbows for a layup with 6 seconds left to give No. 18 Texas Tech an 80-78 victory over Texas A&M on Saturday night, extending the Red Raiders’ winning streak to 12 games.
“Coming out of the timeout, Coach Knight drew up a play and told me to pop out and drive, put it in the hole and get fouled,” Emmett said. “Fortunately we got the lead and the win.”
The Red Raiders (16-2, 4-0 Big 12) led by 12 points late in the first half, but scrapped to a 40-37 halftime lead and the Aggies (7-8, 0-4) stayed in it in the second half.
It came down to Emmett’s big shot.
“He did a really good job,” Knight said of Emmett. “We set up what we wanted to do. We ran Emmett down into the lane and instead of cutting him off, we gave it to him.”
There were seven ties in the second half, the last at 78-78 on a putback by Jesse King of the Aggies after a long miss by Leandro Garcia-Morales with 20 seconds to play.
The Raiders, coming off an impressive 67-47 victory over Oklahoma on Monday, didn’t wilt.
“The first thing I would say about this game is, I know had we lost, it would have been a tough loss for us and obviously it’s a tough loss for them,” Knight said. “They came back a couple of times in the first half and they came back when we had a five-point lead and they tied it up.”
The Aggies got one more chance to tie it but Garcia-Morales missed a long shot at the buzzer.
“When teams are doing what we’re doing right now, it’s just a matter of time,” Texas A&M coach Melvin Watkins said. “It’s got to be that next game. It’s on the road at Iowa State and they’re playing pretty good, but it’s got to be that next game.”
Jarrius Jackson added 16 points and Mikey Marshall had 14 for the Red Raiders, who shot 61 percent from the field.
Acie Law had 14 points for the Aggies, who shot 50 percent.
The Aggies took a 49-46 lead with 16:11 left in the game on a three-point play by Antoine Wright. That was A&M’s first lead since the opening minutes of the game and set the tone for a tight battle down to the finish.
“A few times we had them in position to put them away and win the game, but they wouldn’t go away,” Emmett said. “It seemed like every time we score they’d answer. Fortunately we hung out for the win.”
The Red Raiders kept pulling away, but the Aggies kept rallying in a back-and-forth first half.
The Red Raiders used an 11-0 run to take a 20-9 lead midway in the first half. The Aggies cut the lead to 24-21 before Jackson hit consecutive 3-pointers to stretch the lead to 35-23 with 4:36 to play.
Then, Wright hit a 3-pointer and Andy Slocum’s three-point play got the Aggies back in the game. Law had two late baskets to cut Tech’s lead to three at the half.
A&M won 64-59 in College Station last year, denying Knight his 800th career victory.