St. Joseph's takes down Texas Tech

Top-seeded Hawks survive in 70-65 win

Wake Forest is next

Ncaa Regional East Rutherford

March 21, 2004|By Desmond Conner | Desmond Conner,THE HARTFORD COURANT

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Saint Joseph's may have been raining jumpers on Texas Tech all game, but it was center Dwayne Jones' layup with the shot clock near zero and 13.4 seconds left that sealed a 70-65 win at HSBC Arena.

The top-seeded Hawks (29-1) will return to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1997 and will have lots of support in East Rutherford, N.J., when they face Wake Forest on Thursday at the Meadowlands.

"I was surprised Delonte [West] threw the pass inside, to be honest with you," Jones said. "I was nervous there for about two seconds, but I'm glad we pulled it out."

Jameer Nelson led the Hawks with 24 points. West added 15 points, and Pat Carroll scored 14.

Andre Emmett led No. 8 seed Texas Tech with 18 points.

The three Hawks perimeter stars -- Nelson, West and Carroll -- were responsible for nine of 12 three-pointers. Jones' basket was only his second of the game. But he really made a difference inside.

The Red Raiders (23-11) had the advantage inside, but Jones had 12 rebounds. Texas Tech outscored the Hawks 38-18 in the paint.

"Everybody says they have the advantage inside against us," Jones said. "But we still came out with the win."

The Hawks led 60-53 on a Nelson three-pointer with 7:57 to go, but Texas Tech came roaring back with seven of eight free throws to tie the score at 60 with 5:09 to play.

Carroll answered with a three-pointer to give St. Joseph's breathing room. The Red Raiders cut the lead to 68-65 on Emmett's bank shot with 45.5 seconds left. But the Hawks worked the ball around the perimeter to run down the clock until they found Jones underneath for the easy two.

The Hawks' backcourt combined for 23 first-half points. Emmett's inside basket with nine seconds to go before the half completed an 8-0 run to pull Tech within five at the break.

West's contributions were important. He scored 11 of his 15 points during a 24-2 first-half run that put the Hawks ahead for good. The outburst came after Nelson struggled, missing five of his first six shots.

"That's why we're a backcourt tandem, we know each other's needs," West said. "We really had no flow. I wasn't going to let the game get too far away from us."

Nelson, who scored 14 of his 24 points in the second half, deferred the credit to West, who also added eight assists.

"People are just now noticing him that he's one of the best players in country," said Nelson, a national player of the year candidate. "I need him to be a first-team All-American with me. That's my backcourt mate. You know how much he means to me."

Said West: "We're excited because of how the game ended up."

Billy Packer, a CBS analyst, isn't considered one of Saint Joseph's biggest fans. Last weekend, Packer, a player for the Demon Deacons in the early 1960s, questioned whether Saint Joseph's was worthy of a top seed. That led to a heated response from Hawks coach Phil Martelli.

But Texas Tech coach Bob Knight is a Hawks believer.

"I told Phil that their team, from watching the film, I really liked and enjoyed watching them play," Knight said. "It's good for kids to see a really good team play the way those kids do."

For Knight, it marked the second time he has left Buffalo with a tournament loss. Knight coached what proved to be his last game with Indiana when the Hoosiers lost an opening-round game to Pepperdine in the 2000 tournament.

The Hartford Courant is a Tribune Publishing newspaper. The Associated Press contributed to this article.

TEXAS TECH -- Emmett 6-13 6-8 18, Giles 6-8 2-2 14, Jackson 3-12 0-0 7, M.Marshall 4-9 4-4 14, Ross 3-6 0-0 6, White 0-0 0-0 0, Dora 3-5 0-0 6, Works 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 25-53 12-14 65. SAINT JOSEPH'S -- Carroll 5-9 0-0 14, Bryant 1-2 2-2 4, Jones 2-2 0-0 4, Nelson 9-22 2-2 24, West 7-13 0-1 15, Lee 0-0 0-0 0, Barley 1-5 0-0 3, Stachitas 1-3 0-0 3, Mallon 1-1 0-0 3, Lidzius 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 27-57 4-5 70. Half: Saint Joseph's, 36-31. 3-point goals--Texas Tech 3-12 (M.Marshall 2-6, Jackson 1-3, Ross 0-1, Emmett 0-2), Saint Joseph's 12-31 (Carroll 4-7, Nelson 4-11, Mallon 1-1, Stachitas 1-2, Barley 1-5, West 1-5). Fouled out--None. Rebounds--Texas Tech 29 (Giles 8), Saint Joseph's 31 (Jones 12). Assists--Texas Tech 16 (Emmett, Jackson 4), Saint Joseph's 13 (West 8). Total fouls--Texas Tech 11, Saint Joseph's 16.

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