Knight leaves at half, Centenary beats Texas Tech
BOSSIER CITY, La. (AP)—Nick Stallings had 17 points and tiny Centenary came from behind to upset Texas Tech 70-66 on Saturday night after Red Raiders coach Bob Knight left the arena at halftime because he felt ill.
Texas Tech (5-3) led 35-32 at halftime and by many as 14 points in the second half.
As Knight left at halftime, about 20 to 30 Centenary fans baited him. He stopped and walked back, pointing his finger.
“We came here to play Centenary. Just think about that,” Knight said.
Texas Tech is a Big 12 school with total enrollment of 28,200; Centenary’s 910 students make it the nation’s smallest Division I basketball program.
Knight didn’t return for the second half. Several minutes into the half, Texas Tech sports information director Randy Farley went to look for him. When Farley returned, he told reporters that Knight was feeling ill and his son, Tim, had driven him to the team hotel to rest, according to Centenary sports information director David Pratt.
Texas Tech opened the second half with a 14-3 run to lead by 49-35.
But Centenary (5-3) scored the next 13 points, led by eight from freshman Anthony Gatlin, who finished with 13. Gatlin made a 3-point shot, a 3-point play and a layup as Centenary took back the lead, which changed hands three times, with three ties, during the next games last nine minutes.
Tyrone Hamilton, who finished with 12 points, hit a 3-point shot to tie the score at 66-66 with 1:35 left.
After a fight for the ball, Chase Adams leaped for a wild pass and hurled it back to the court, where Stallings grabbed it. After a time out with 36 seconds left, Adams drove down the right and made a wrap-around pass to Lance Hill, who made a lay-in to put the Gents up 68-66.
Trevor Cook missed a 3-point attempt on the Red Raiders’ next possession. Stallings took the rebound, was fouled and made both free throws.
Justin Glenn had a game-high nine rebounds for Centenary.
Martin Zeno scored 21 points for Texas Tech and Alan Voskuil had 12 points.
Pratt quoted Farley as saying Knight has been feeling ill since the team’s trip to Anchorage for the Great Alaska Shootout from Nov. 22-24.
Farley said Knight was going to the team hotel, and would meet the team at the airport, according to Pratt.
Neither Farley nor Knight’s son and planned successor, Pat Knight, immediately returned calls to their cell phones about Knight’s illness.