LUBBOCK, Texas (AP)—Bob Knight thinks it’s “neat” that Andre Emmett is the Big 12’s all-time leading scorer.
But the Texas Tech coach appeared nonplussed by the record, though he conceded he’s glad Emmett has it.
“That’s a neat thing for a kid to have,” Knight said. “But what it means to me is that a lot of kids have worked like hell to get him the ball, screen for him and get him open. You guys get too caught up with individual honors.”
Emmett needed four points coming into Saturday’s game against Texas A&M to overtake Nick Collison of Kansas (2,097 points). He got 18 to lead the Red Raiders to a 76-60 victory over the Aggies.
Tech (19-7, 7-5) went up by double digits early in the first half and built the margin to 50-29 on a layup and free throw by Jarrius Jackson with 15:09 remaining in the game.
The Aggies (7-16, 0-12) answered with a 19-8 run and whittled their deficit to 60-50 on a rebound by Antoine White with 5:20 remaining but couldn’t get any closer.
“Not one of our better efforts, particularly in the first half,” Aggies coach Melvin Watkins said. “We dug ourselves a deep hole, and we knew we were going to have a hard time getting out of. We cut it to 10, and we had a couple of looks from there, but we couldn’t knock the shots down.”
Jackson added 19 points for the Red Raiders, while Devonne Giles got 14, Robert Tomaszek 13 and Ronald Ross 10.
Emmett got his 2,098th point on a one-handed dunk in full stride with 7:54 remaining in the first half. Tomaszek grabbed a rebound and passed to Emmett who was at about midcourt.
The conference began in 1996.
Tech’s Mikey Marshall said he thought it was “odd” that no announcement was made to the crowd when Emmett surpassed Collison’s mark.
“I figured being at home they would announce that and let everybody know what he accomplished,” he said. “It might be in the papers, but still they could have announced it. I really wasn’t sure if the fans knew. Our teammates knew, and it was just kind of weird to us.”
Knight countered that if an announcement was made about the record, the names of all the people who gave Emmett assists or set screens for him needed to be announced also.
“You announce it. That’s what you guys get paid for,” Knight said. “He didn’t set a record in the 100-yard dash.”
Knight did not start Emmett or Jackson because of their lackluster defensive play in Tech’s 85-75 loss at Colorado on Wednesday and in a 63-48 loss the previous week at Oklahoma.
It was the first game this year that Emmett did not start. Knight said he used to bench people when they didn’t play well but has gotten away from that philosophy in recent years.
“But we’ll get back to it,” Knight said. “I think I’ve been too tolerant with bad play.”
White scored 17 points and Kevin Turner added 13 to lead the Aggies.
The Red Raiders had lost five of their past eight games after a 12-game winning streak.
Tech and Knight are one game shy of winning 20 games for the third consecutive season, a feat never done at Tech.
Tech led 38-24 at halftime. The Red Raiders used a 11-3 run early in the first half to take an 18-8 lead. Devonne Giles had six points and Ross had the other five. Tech maintained a double-digit margin for the rest of the half.