Boston College 84, Texas Tech 75
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP)—Sean Marshall and Boston College were in a tight game. Fortunately for them, they didn’t get tight against Bob Knight’s team.
“We’re a relaxed ballclub,” Marshall said. “Even when we’re down, we stay the same.”
The senior responded by scoring 15 of his 21 points in the second half to help the Eagles rally for an 84-75 win Thursday that knocked Knight and his Red Raiders out of the NCAA tournament.
Tyrese Rice added 26 points for the Eagles (21-11), the East Regional’s seventh seed. Jared Dudley had 19 points to help BC win its first-round game for the fourth straight season.
The victory sent BC to play former Big East Conference rival and second-seeded Georgetown in Saturday’s second round.
In a game that stayed close the entire way, Boston College advanced by putting together one of its steadiest offensive performances of the season— particularly through the final 10 minutes.
“I thought we showed a lot more patience on the offensive end than we have in a long time,” Boston College coach Al Skinner said. “We didn’t really play hurried.”
The Eagles shot 53 percent for the game and used a 14-4 run to erase a four-point deficit midway through the second half, sending 10th-seeded Texas Tech (21-13) to its second first-round exit in six seasons under Knight.
“They’re a well put-together team,” Knight said. “They cut sharply. They read our defense well, and I think there’s nothing that’s probably more important to good offensive play than reading a defense well.
“We didn’t need to score any more points. But we just didn’t get things done defensively like we needed to in this game.”
Marshall, who had six points in the first half, scored 11 of the 14 points in the decisive run—including consecutive 3-pointers that gave Boston College a 68-62 lead with 8:49 left. He shot 6-for-9 in the second half and finished 8-for-14 with seven rebounds.
He got plenty of help from Dudley, a fellow four-year starter and the Atlantic Coast Conference’s player of the year. The 6-foot-7 forward knocked down a pair of key baskets to keep momentum with the Eagles as the Red Raiders hung around late, including an inside score that gave Boston College a 78-71 lead with 3:17 to play.
Rice, a speedy 6-foot-1 sophomore, took care of the rest. He scored 13 first-half points, then went 6-for-6 at the line in the final 42 seconds to seal it.
The Eagles also got a boost from 6-10 junior John Oates, who stepped to the outside and knocked down three 3-pointers for 11 first-half points.
The loss ended a season of highs and lows for Texas Tech, which had beaten Kansas and Texas A&M this year but also had some puzzling losses along the way. The Red Raiders made Knight the winningest coach in Division I men’s history in January, only to begin a five-game losing streak later that month that put their tournament hopes in jeopardy.
Martin Zeno scored 21 points to lead the Red Raiders, but leading scorer Jarrius Jackson finished with 10 points on 4-for-14 shooting—significantly below his Big 12 Conference-leading 20.2-point scoring average.
“I was just trying to let the game come to me,” Jackson said. “I think we were doing a pretty good job scoring and other players were stepping up.”
The Red Raiders managed to offset that lost production for a while. Reserve Alan Voskuil, who was scoreless and didn’t shoot before the break, scored seven of his 12 second-half points in the opening minutes after halftime—including a 3-pointer for a 50-49 lead with 16:16 to play.
Jackson’s 3-pointer with 13:17 left pushed the margin to 58-54, but the Eagles answered with a layup from Marshall and a 3 by Rice after an offensive rebound to start the decisive spurt.
“I always tell the guys, ‘You’ve got to learn as the game goes along what it is you can and can’t do, recognize what they’re doing and try to take some of that away,”’ Skinner said. “I thought they did that this afternoon. They learned, and they understood.”