LUBBOCK — If you have ever been around Texas Tech head coach Pat Knight, you understand how big his knowledge of sports is and his sense of humor.
You'd also know that he is never afraid of speaking his mind and will usually have fun with the media during postgame press conferences.
So it was no surprise on Friday night after Tech's 70-58 win over Stephen F. Austin at United Spirit Arena when Knight fired back with a witty answer in response to why star senior Mike Singletary was not in the starting lineup for the Red Raiders.
"I'm not really pleased with his conditioning and his terminology with the two-minute offense," said Knight, referring to Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan's comments on quarterback Donovan McNabb a week ago. "We'll see how he runs the two-minute offense tomorrow in practice and see if he can get better."
Apparently it did not bother Knight to shake things up and got a surprise from junior forward Robert Lewandowski as he tied a career-high with 20 points and led Tech to its second win of the season after a disappointing overtime loss to North Texas in Denton earlier this week.
Lewandowski scored in double digits for the first time since Feb. 28, 2009, when he had 11 against Oklahoma. He scored 20 points in a loss to Texas A&M earlier that season and had been out of the starting lineup for the majority of the last year until he started maturing more on the court.
He logged 33 minutes — the most in 16 games — helping pick up the slack for injured forward D'walyn Roberts, who missed his second game this season with a hurt back. Tech was also missing young players Paul Cooper, Theron Jenkins and Marshall Henderson.
"It wasn't anything different," Lewandowski said. "That pick-and-roll kills people. We've got to keep running it and keep finding ways to go inside-out because that's going to kill teams to have that one-two punch."
Tech (2-1) struggled midway through the first half after going up 12-10. SFA built as much as a 10-point lead after a 13-1 run while Tech's shooting was dormant for more than six minutes.
Senior guard John Roberson scored all seven of his first-half points in the final five minutes of the period to help bring Tech within one at 35-34 before halftime as Singletary and senior forward Brad Reese struggled with just one point each in the opening half.
Singletary and Reese helped pick up their play in the second half, finishing with 11 and 7 points, respectively. Singletary also added nine rebounds.
Roberson's performance carried over into the opening minutes of the second half as Tech jumped out to a 53-42 lead on a 19-5 run.
But it was Roberson's pregame routine that might have been the most vital for the success of Lewandowski and Tech. The two worked on the pick-and-roll play alone before the game began, much like a quarterback and receiver work on routes prior to a football game in order to get their timing and feel down before the opening period.
"We just wanted to get a feel for each other," Roberson said. "We've never done that before but you could see it on the court. We had chemistry."
Tech plays Liberty (2-2) at 1 p.m. CDT on Sunday at United Spirit Arena.