LUBBOCK, Texas —Pat Knight ratcheted up practice his own way after Texas Tech lost by 44 points earlier this week.
It seemed to make a difference in his players’ efforts as the Red Raiders beat No. 5 Texas 83-80 on Saturday.
Bob Knight, said his son, did “regular old drills” that in some way involved basketball. On Thursday, the younger Knight left the court behind and made his players run sprints while carrying weights. Then they shot lots of free throws. After that Pat Knight made them carry tractor tires and then flip them over—in relay races.
“I honestly believe they might have wished my dad didn’t retire after Thursday,” Pat Knight said. “I wanted to take it up a notch. I wanted to leave my stamp on it, so I think everything was pretty original that we did.”
Alan Voskuil scored 18 points, including six straight free throws down the stretch., and Texas Tech held off No. 5 Texas 83-80 on Saturday.
Martin Zeno scored 15 points and Trevor Cook and Charlie Burgess each added 14 for the Red Raiders (15-13, 7-7 Big 12), who made 34 free throws in the game including hitting all its last 10 to stave off the comeback.
Texas Tech fans stormed the court after the win, Pat Knight’s and the Red Raiders’ second over a Top 25 team since he succeeded his father as coach in early February.
Pat Knight said his game plan was solely focused on offense.
“We wanted to push it on them, we weren’t going to back down or try to slow it up,” Pat Knight said. “I wasn’t worried about making one, two, three passes; if you’re open just shoot.”
D.J. Augustine scored 30 points and A.J. Abrams added 14 for the Longhorns (24-5, 11-3), who had an eight-game winning streak snapped.
“We got beat. I mean, I can’t be any more specific,” Texas coach Rick Barnes said. “Texas Tech beat us today. I don’t want anyone to think it is anything but that.”
Augustine said he felt the pressure.
“They came at us, it was aggressive offensively and defensively,” Augustine said. “Our shots wasn’t falling and we didn’t come out with the same intensity as we always come out with.”
Texas Tech, coming off the worst loss in school history, pulled ahead late in the first half and never trailed again. The Red Raiders went up 56-43 with just over 11 minutes remaining before Texas began to stir.
Voskuil left the game at the 8:38 mark after getting his fourth foul and the Longhorns went on a 9-2 run to cut the deficit to 58-52 with about 7 minutes left. The comeback was short-lived, though.
When Voskuil returned 2 minutes later, Tech answered with a 10-4 run to go up 70-56 with 3:28 remaining. Texas wasn’t done, though.
The Longhorns mounted a 12-2 run to cut the margin to 72-68 with 1:24 left. Tech missed four of six free throws in the span.
Three-pointers by Abrams and Justin Mason and three baskets by Augustine got Texas within 81-80 with 11.6 seconds left.
Zeno fouled Augustine before he could attempt a shot and he missed the front end of a 1-and-1. Texas got the rebound and J.D. Lewis took the final shot from 3-point range but it hit off the rim.
Barnes said he didn’t think his team needed a wake-up call; players just need to show up.
“If you don’t play hard enough to win, you’re not entitled to win,” he said. “And we didn’t do what we had to do today.”
Tech, which lost 98-54 at Texas A&M on Wednesday, beat Texas in Lubbock for the first time since February 2005.
Pat Knight knew what his team needed after the loss, Barnes said.
“They had a tough game at A&M and Pat came back and did what he thought was right,” he said. “It was the right thing and they responded to him and I think that’s a sign of great coaching—knowing your team and knowing what you have to do.”
Burgess put it more succinctly.
“He put us through, basically, hell”… and “we survived it as a team,” he said.
Texas Tech beat then No. 18-Kansas State 84-75 on Feb. 13.