Texas stops Red Raiders
Tech players vote to bench Emmett, Valdez for poor effort
Austin, Texas ? The reasons for this Texas win were simple: Brandon Mouton couldn’t miss, and Texas Tech’s Andre Emmett never got on the court.
Mouton hit five three-pointers in the first half, sparking No. 3 Texas to a 77-65 victory Monday night over the Red Raiders. Emmett, the Big 12 Conference’s leading scorer, was benched for the game by coach Bob Knight.
The announcement before tipoff was that Emmett, who averages 21.5 points, and forward Nick Valdez were benched because they missed the team’s morning walkthrough.
After the game, however, Tech players said they voted to bench them after a poor effort in a 63-58 loss to Oklahoma two days earlier. Emmett and Valdez combined for 16 points in that game.
“We voted they didn’t deserve to play,” said Tech senior forward Kasib Powell, who scored 12 points.
Knight was in no mood to discuss the situation with reporters.
“I’ve said all that’s gonna be said about it. It’s none of your … business,” Knight said. “Let’s not worry about somebody who didn’t deserve to play.”
It remains to be seen when Emmett and Valdez will return to the lineup.
“I don’t know whether they are or not,” Knight said.
Mouton’s big game, however, left few question marks. He scored a game-high 21 points for the Longhorns (18-4 overall, 9-2 Big 12), hitting six three-pointers in a row.
“I just got into a good rhythm. Once I made my first shot it felt real good,” said Mouton, who missed his first and last attempts.
His consecutive threes in a 14-2 Texas run turned an 18-18 game into a 32-20 Longhorns lead.
T.J. Ford added 15 points and seven assists as Texas won for the 12th straight time over the Red Raiders (14-8, 4-7).
Robert Tomaszek scored 14 to lead Texas Tech, which has lost three of its last four.
Tech may have been without its best shooter, but Texas struggled to score in the early going. The Longhorns started the game just 4-of-16 from the floor during the first 10 minutes.
Then Mouton found his shooting touch. His fifth three-pointer made it 42-26 before Texas went into halftime leading 44-31.
Tech, which was outrebounded 41-34, still outscored Texas in the paint, 42-24. But it wasn’t enough as the Red Raiders struggled to keep up with Texas’ sharpshooters. The Longhorns went 10-of-20 from behind the three-point line.
Tech, meanwhile, was just 3-of-12 on three-pointers and Powell, who averages 15.7 points, picked up his fourth foul early in the second half and was largely ineffective.
Will Chavis gave Tech a spark with a three-pointer that closed the gap to 49-38 with 17 minutes to play.
That’s when Texas sealed the win.
Ford hit consecutive baskets in transition, Sydmill Harris hit a three-pointer, and Brian Boddicker finished a fast break with a two-handed dunk in a 11-0 run during the next three minutes that made it 60-38.
“When we run, we’re very, very hard to guard,” Texas coach Rick Barnes said.