Gonzaga Falls Short Against Texas Tech
March 19, 2005
By BOB BAUM
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Bob Knight is back. Ronald Ross made sure of that.
Knight's Texas Tech Red Raiders rallied from a 13-point second-half deficit to beat Gonzaga 71-69 on Saturday to advance to the semifinals of the Albuquerque Regional.
Ross, the sharpshooter who walked on as a freshman four years ago and became one of the best guards in the Big 12 under Knight's guidance, sank a 3-pointer from the corner to put sixth-seeded Tech up 68-67 with 1:06 to play, then sealed the victory by making both halves of a one-and-one with 7.5 seconds remaining.
Ross and Knight hugged in the final seconds as it became obvious that a Knight-coached team would make it to a regional semifinal for the first time since 1994.
When it ended, Knight's wife Karen joined the coach on the court, crying and hugging him. It was an emotional scene around the crusty coach whose 854 career victories are just 25 shy of Dean Smith's NCAA Division I record.
Ross scored 24 points - giving him 102 in his last four games - and grabbed nine rebounds, and backcourt mate Jarrius Jackson added 18 points. Martin Zeno scored 11 and Darryl Dora 10, eight in the second half.
Third-seeded Gonzaga (26-5) made an early exit with a high seed for the second year in a row. The Zags were the No. 2 seed a year ago and lost to Nevada in the second round.
Adam Morrison had 25 points and nine rebounds for Gonzaga, and scored 10 consecutive Bulldogs' points after Tech (22-10) had rallied to take the lead. But, with his team trailing 69-67, Morrison missed a 3-pointer with 19.5 seconds to go. The ball went out of bounds and possession was awarded to Tech, despite the protests of the Gonzaga bench.
Ross was fouled and made the free throws to make it a four-point lead. Derek Raivio, just 2-for-7 shooting, made a jumper with 2 seconds left for the final two-point margin.
The Zags scored the first four points of the second half to take a 42-29 lead on Erroll Knight's fastbreak stuff, but the Red Raiders scored the next seven, the last on Ross' 3-pointer, to cut it to 42-36.
After Raivio's lone 3-pointer of the day put Gonzaga ahead 54-46 with 13:20 to go, Tech scored the next nine points to take its first lead, 55-54, after Dora's close-in bank shot with 9:44 remaining.
Erroll Knight matched his season high with 14 points for the Zags, but scored just two in the second half. Ronny Turiaf had 13 points and 13 rebounds in his last college game, but was only 3-for-9 from the free throw line.
After Ross' 3 put Tech ahead 68-67, Turiaf missed the first of a one-and-one with 49.4 seconds to go. Jackson made one of two free throws with 24.4 seconds to go to boost the lead to 69-67.
Gonzaga outrebounded the Red Raiders 27-14 in the first half, 10-3 on the offensive boards, and stifled Tech's motion offense with a zone defense, taking a 38-29 lead at the break.
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