Tigers fail to complete comeback vs. Tech, drop fifth straight

Sunday, February 5, 2006

LUBBOCK, Texas -- Even though Texas Tech won by 18 points, Bob Knight wants to see his team finish off opponents and not squander leads the way the Red Raiders did Saturday.

Tech never trailed and led by as much as 21 before Missouri used a 15-2 run, capped by back-to-back 3-pointers by Jimmy McKinney, to pull within 59-51 with 5:08 remaining.

The Raiders went on to beat Missouri 73-55.

Tech, which scored only one field goal in a 9-minute stretch in the second half, stiffened and responded with a 14-0 run to seal the win. The Tigers missed eight shots and turned the ball over twice during Tech's spurt.

"When you've got a team in a position to stick the knife in the heart, you've got to be able to do it, and we have not been able to do that," Knight said. "I really liked how we played in the last 5 minutes of the second half, where we were playing to win."

Jarrius Jackson and Darryl Dora each scored 22 points to lead Texas Tech. The loss for the Tigers was their fifth straight.

Texas Tech (12-10, 4-4 Big 12) hit 52 percent from the field, its best shooting effort in Big 12 games this season. The Red Raiders' previous best was 50 percent Monday night in a 86-52 loss at Kansas.

But after halftime Saturday, Tech had trouble getting a bucket. The Red Raiders got only three field goals in the first 16:37 of the second half. They got four in the final 3:23.

Dora's points and Jackson's 12 rebounds were career highs for each.

"Usually I slow down and fall out of the offense in the second half, and I just wanted to keep it going throughout the whole game," said Dora, who hit on 8-of-12 from the field, including two 3-pointers. He also made his four free throws attempts.

Dior Lowhorn added 11 points for Tech.

The Red Raiders held Missouri's Thomas Gardner, the Big 12's leading scorer, to just two points on a pair of free throws. Gardner, who averaged 20.9 points coming into the game, missed each of his five field goal attempts and didn't play in the second half.

Missouri coach Quin Snyder said the decision to bench Gardner was in the best interests of the team.

"I thought it picked up our defense," he said. "I thought we moved the ball, and obviously the scoreboard reflected that. But Thomas has been our guy, and I know he can play better, and I have every confidence that he will."

The Tigers (10-10, 3-6) fell to 0-5 when Gardner is held to 15 points or fewer.

McKinney scored 17 points and Kevin Young added 12 points for the Tigers, who also lost five straight during a stretch last season.

This season, they have lost six of their last seven.

Tech started out hot, going 9-for-11 in the first 9:12 of the game. The Red Raiders used runs of 17-4 and 23-11 to lead 48-26 at halftime.

Missouri, meanwhile, had trouble holding onto the ball. The Tigers committed 16 first-half turnovers, and the Red Raiders scored 25 points off Missouri's mistakes.

Missouri finished with 23 turnovers, with McKinney and Marshall Brown committing five each.

The Tigers shot poorly, hitting only 33 percent on 20-of-60 shots from the field. In Missouri's four-game skid, the Tigers shot 37.6 percent.

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