Ronald Ross, Tech's walk-on guard from Hobbs, N.M., did everything right; the Red Raiders advanced past Oklahoma to earn a berth in the title game, 69-63."> Ronald Ross, Tech's walk-on guard from Hobbs, N.M., did everything right; the Red Raiders advanced past Oklahoma to earn a berth in the title game, 69-63.">

Red Raiders Earn First Trip to Title Game

<p>"We talked about it from the time we saw our bracket,' Texas Tech head coach Bob Knight told Fox Sports after the Saturday win that sent his 4-th seeded team into its first Big 12 Conference Tournament title game. "We said, if we do this right we can be playing on Sunday." <p>Ronald Ross, Tech's walk-on guard from Hobbs, N.M., did everything right; the Red Raiders advanced past Oklahoma to earn a berth in the title game, 69-63.

Ross scored 19 of his 28 points – a career best – in the second half.

"They out-toughed us today," Sooner coach Kelvin Sampson said of the team his own squad had thrice beaten this year. "We'll get it back."

"Our thought was, we wanted to have a 20-minute ball game," Knight said. "We had talked about that when we played (OU) in Lubbock, and we had it, but they took it away from us. At the half, we said we had an opportunity.

"We have another 20-minute game, and what we want is to keep them from getting out of control," Knight said. One measure of how seriously the Red Raiders took that statement: they surrendered but two offensive rebounds through the second half.

Twelve of Ross's points contributed to a 16-4 run as the clock wound down to five minutes; Tech took a 56-45 lead. OU never recovered.

Ross had serious help as Jarrius Jackson poured 22 points through the net for the Red Raiders. Two Techsans – Damir Suljagic and Darryl Dora – fouled out; the pair had combined for three points, two assists, and three blocks, but played huge minutes for Tech's defense. Oklahoma had no player break 20 points in the ball game, although three Sooners achieved double figures: Kevin Bookout, Lawrence McKenzie – who also fouled out -- and Terrell Everett.

Tech's Devonne Giles had 8 points and a team-leading 11 rebounds while swiping the ball twice and managing two assists in 36 minutes. Martin Zeno turned in a 30-minute ball game shooting two for seven from the floor and four for six from the stripe; he earned eight points and grabbed three boards while distributing three assists.

Curtis Marshall's none-for-two from the charity stripe tied Suljagic for worst luck of the day; Marshall didn't have any misses from the floor, but managed four boards in 12 minutes. Joey Hawkins made a two-minute appearance.

The Red Raiders fought off a comeback attempt as the clock wound down; every time OU looked like drawing even Ross found another way to score – from the top of the key, out at the elbow, down underneath the basket, tearing up the baseline – or pitching off the sphere to give a teammate a bucket.

Sooners charity shooters hit 11 of 19 as a team; OU shot 22 of 58 from the field and hit eight of 22 from three-point country while giving up a dozen turnovers and roofing three shots against Tech. Taj Gray led his team with 11 boards while scoring eight points; he had three dishes. Bookout finished the game with eight boards ad 12 points; McKenzie shacked two of five from way down range and sank three of seven inside the arc; his single rebound and 10 points came with one steal. David Godbold played 13 minutes for OU; Everett hung 15 points on the scoreboard and collared seven caroms plus a pair of steals in his 38 minutes. Jaison Williams had a three-for-five, nine-point game with four boards, an assist, and a block.

Drew Lavender hit one field goal in eight tries; it was one of his half-dozen treys that fell and he grabbed a pair of boards and dished out two assists. Johnnie Gilbert finished OU's workday with a two-of-three shooting number off the floor and an identical figure at the line; he had four boards, six points, and two blocks.


Raider Power Top Stories