Date: November 17, 2006
The Red Raiders (4-0) were victorious over the Bison of North Dakota State (1-2) in a close game Friday night at the United Spirit Arena. Tech's leading scorer, Jarrius Jackson, racked up 26 points while Martin Zeno contributed 20. Other Red Raiders scoring in double figures were Charlie Burgess with 13 points and Esmir Rizvic adding 10. Benny Valentine also made some noise by hitting some critical shots including a three pointer to finish with 9 points. Tech led 43-34 at halftime, but North Dakota State started the second half by scoring on four out of five possessions chipping away their deficit to three, 45-42. The Bison led 59-58 with 11:51 remaining before Tech finally pulled away for good.
Despite only shooting 43.8% to North Dakota State's 57.9%, Texas Tech was able to win this game due to Jackson and Zeno's solid free throw shooting down the stretch. In a contest overlooked by many, this game served as a wake up call and helped identify key areas that the Red Raiders need to work on this season. Those key areas include overall defense, rebounding, and free throw shooting.
Since Bob Knight became the head coach of Texas Tech, the Red Raiders have only lost two non-conference games at home (Sam Houston State in 01' and Louisiana Tech in 05'). This win brings the General's career wins total to 873, seven shy of passing Dean Smith's 879 to become the NCAA Division 1's all-time wins leader.
On Monday night, Tech faces the No. 16 Marquette Golden Eagles at the Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, MO. A win would put the Red Raiders in the championship game against either Air Force (3-0) or Duke (3-0). The game is scheduled to air at 8:30pm CST on ESPN U.