Texas Tech 71,
Andre Emmett had 23 points and eight rebounds tonight and Texas Tech held off Minnesota, 71-61, in the consolation game of the National Invitation Tournament.
The Red Raiders took control early, but blew a 19-point lead as the Golden Gophers (19-14) went on a 20-9 run to tie the game at 54 with less than six minutes remaining. Rick Rickert, who might have played his last game at Minnesota, came alive in time to spark the run with seven points.
But Texas Tech held on, making 7 of 8 free throws in the final 1 minute 4 seconds. In their semifinal loss Tuesday night, the Red Raiders blew a 10-point lead to St. John's.
"We have had a habit of doing that. We have a real habit of relaxing," Texas Tech Coach Bob Knight said after the loss.
Rickert, a lithe sophomore listed at 6 foot 11, 216 pounds, finished with eight points on 3-for-12 shooting.
He has said he has already decided whether he will return for his junior season or declare for the NBA draft. He has not disclosed his plans yet, and underclassmen have until May 12 to declare for the draft. As long as he doesn't hire an agent, Rickert has until June 19 to withdraw his name before the draft on June 26.
Minnesota sleepwalked through most of the first half in front of a nearly silent Madison Square Garden. The Gophers had to rally just to make it 37-24 at the half. Rickert missed all five of his field goal attempts, turned the ball over three times, and scored one point.
Robert Tomaszek scored 14 of his 18 points in the first half to help Texas Tech (22-13) build a 37-18 lead with four minutes left.
Knight is no stranger to the NIT. He led Army to two fourth-place finishes in the tournament, in 1966 and 1969, as well as a third-place finish in 1970. Knight also won the NIT title in 1979 with Indiana.