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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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No. 18 Texas Tech escapes Reed Arena 80-78

 
 

No. 18 Texas Tech escaped Reed Arena Saturday night with an 80-78 victory over Texas A&M, but not without a little bit of controversy.
With just more than 10 seconds remaining and the scored tied at 78, Red Raider senior guard/forward Andre Emmett spun on three Aggie defenders, hopped into the lane and laid up a 10-foot shot that banked in off the glass to give Texas Tech (16-2, 4-0 Big 12) the win.
Emmett did all that after picking up his dribble, but the traveling violation was never called.
“I can’t say what I want to say,” said A&M head coach Melvin Watkins.
“Yes (I thought Emmett traveled). I’m not going to let that one play get us down.”
After A&M senior forward Jesse King put back a missed shot by senior guard Leandro Garcia-Morales to tie the game with 20.4 seconds remaining, all 12,124 fans in attendance knew Red Raider head coach Bobby Knight wanted the ball in Emmett’s hands.
But even with three defenders on Emmett, the Texas Tech star was able to score.
“I did see an opening towards the end,” Emmett said. “I dribbled into (A&M senior center Andy) Slocum and then went towards the middle. I saw a little crease so I took the shot.”
Emmett led all scorers with 23 points, hitting nine of 13 in the game.With 6.6 seconds remaining, the Aggies had one chance left.
Sophomore guard/forward Antoine Wright inbounded the ball to Garcia-Morales, who dribbled the length of the court and put up a three-point shot from the top of the key that bounced off the front of the rim as time expired.
Watkins said the play was drawn up to go to freshman point guard Acie Law IV, but he was blanketed by the Red Raider defense. The second option was Garcia-Morales.
“They denied me the ball,” Law said. “We got it in to Leandro. Unfortunately it fell a little bit short.”
Both teams shot more than 50 percent in the game, but Texas Tech shot a season-high 61.5 percent from the floor.
“Had we lost it would have been a really tough loss for us,” Knight said.
“No doubt it’s a really tough loss for A&M. It was obviously a real battle from beginning to end.”
After A&M took the early lead, Texas Tech stormed out in front by as many as 12 points with 4:47 left in the first half. At times it looked as though the Red Raiders were ready to blow out the Aggies, but A&M fought back to within three points by halftime.
The second half was a much closer battle. Every time one team seemed to gain momentum, the other would answer right back with neither team gaining a lead of more than five.
With 3:04 left to play, the Raiders began to gain control, leading 73-68 after a pair of free throws from senior guard Mikey Marshall, but Law answered with a three-pointer 34 seconds later to pull the Aggies within two.
After Marshall converted on a three-point play to put the Raiders up 76-73 with 1:30 left, it was Law again who answered back by driving the length of the court to hit a basket while drawing a foul. He converted the free throw to tie the game at 76.
Law led the Aggies with 14 points in 20 minutes of playing time.
“That was a huge basket,” Knight said of Law’s three-pointer. “I thought that was the biggest basket of the game next to the bucket Emmett got at the end.”
After four Big 12 conference games, the Aggies are still winless, but they have had a chance to win all of them. Just like Garcia-Morales’ last second shot Saturday, the Aggies have fallen a little bit short.
A&M will travel to Ames, Iowa, Wednesday night to face Iowa State.”I’m not down,” Watkins said. “I’m disappointed, but not down. I can feel good about what we are doing in practice and the fact that we are being competitive. We are not down.”

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