Richard Chaney fouls Texas Tech's Devonne Giles as he drives to the basket during the first half.
Nov. 26, 2003
By HAL BOCK
AP Sports Writer
NEW YORK - For coach Bob Knight, basketball strategy always starts when the other team has the ball.
"You start with defense," Knight said Wednesday after Texas Tech put on a pretty good display of it in a 65-54 victory over Utah to advance to the championship game of the Preseason NIT.
"If you don't have defense, we have to score two baskets for every one the other team scores," Knight said. "It's usually defense that enables the offense to get the lead.
"What I've always tried to do is make sure the defense is something that enables the offense to win the game."
It was that way Wednesday as Tech stole the ball 12 times and rattled Utah. That defense and the senior savvy of Andre Emmett to seal the victory.
Texas Tech will play the winner of the late game between top-ranked Connecticut and Georgia Tech for the tournament title Friday night at Madison Square Garden.
Emmett scored 16 of his 23 points in the first half as Texas Tech (4-0) came from behind to take control of the game.
Utah, with just two seniors on a roster filled with freshmen and sophomores, grabbed the early lead behind seven points from Richard Chaney. Then Tech turned up the heat.
With Utah leading 13-6, Emmett and Devonne Giles fueled a 16-3 run that put the Red Raiders in front to stay. The stretch was interrupted only by a 3-pointer by Nick Jacobson, one of the two seniors on coach Rick Majerus' team.
Rattled, Utah started rushing long shots and Texas Tech took advantage by using high-percentage shots. The Raiders never attempted a shot from beyond the 3-point line until the game was well in hand.
Texas Tech led 35-25 at the half and stayed comfortably in front the rest of the way behind Emmett with major help from Giles and freshman Jarrius Jackson, who had 13 points apiece. Chaney topped Utah (3-1) with 17 points, and freshman Andrew Bogut had 13 rebounds.
That's what Emmett did on the next two trips down the floor.
Still, Knight was most impressed with Tech's defense. As he left the postgame interview, he noted, "I think I would have said that even if we had lost the game."