Feisty as ever, Bob Knight still kicking in his 899th career win
LUBBOCK, Texas (AP)—In his 899th win, Bob Knight was as feisty as ever.
With about 7 1/2 minutes remaining in the first half of Texas Tech’s 75-68 win over UTEP on Saturday, Knight lost his right shoe when he kicked the front of the scorer’s table.
The coach was upset about a charging call against Esmir Rizvic. Shortly after replacing his shoe, he strode the length of table during a timeout and apparently told a Big 12 and NCAA official seated there to keep an eye on the officiating.
Less than a minute later, he got a technical for arguing with officials about a call on Charlie Burgess on Randy Culpepper’s breakaway attempt.
While Stefon Jackson and Culpepper made free throws, Knight continued to stand and talk to the referee as his son, head coach designate Pat Knight, tried to encourage his father to return to the bench.
After the game, Knight used a more playful approach with another of his longtime nemeses, the media.
Knight lifted 21-month-old grandson Will Knight up onto the table and faced the standing toddler toward the media. Knight then brought him back into his lap and addressed him.
“You see, they ask a question and you don’t answer it, and they ask another and you don’t answer it, either,” Knight said at the end of his postgame comments. “You’re going to be a good coach. Yes, sir.”
Knight’s first shot at No. 900 comes next Saturday at Oklahoma State in each team’s Big 12 opener. Knight said his players aren’t even counting.
“Those players don’t even know that,” Knight said.
Earlier this season, Knight received a public reprimand from the Big 12 for criticizing officials in an 80-63 loss at New Mexico on Dec. 15.
Martin Zeno scored 25 points for the Red Raiders, and Alan Voskuil got hot late in the game.
He scored 11 of 13 Tech points within a four-minute span to put Tech up for good. He finished with 13 points and John Roberson added 16.
Marvin Kilgore scored 22 points and Culpepper and Tavaris Wattes added 10 points each to lead the Miners (9-4).
Jackson, UTEP’s leading scorer coming into the game with a 24.8 points-per-game average, fouled out with less than 3 minutes remaining in the game. Tech (9-5) held him to just nine points.
“That’s by far the best that we’ve hung in and played so far this year,” Knight said. “The other side of that coin is that if you can do it against a very good team, which I think UTEP is, then you got to be able to do it all the time. And that’s what we have to find.”
The Miners used a 10-2 run to start the second half to go up 47-40. They didn’t do it on their own, though. Tech played sloppily in the first four minutes, allowing UTEP to steal the ball three times, while Tech traveled twice and missed on two other possessions.
But the Red Raiders settled down and pulled within 52-50 on a jumper by John Roberson as the shot clock expired with about 11 minutes remaining.