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Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Knight wants NIT; Singletary eyes KU

By Jeff Caplan

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Texas Tech coach Pat Knight has said his team is capable of scoring a "hellacious" amount of points in any game, but if it wants to be successful it has to get serious on defense.

No. 9-seed Tech, down by 10 early, held No. 8 Colorado to 42.6 percent shooting and steamrolled to 47-second half points for an 82-67 win in the first round of the Big 12 tournament. The Red Raiders finally ended a seven-game losing streak, getting a win for the first time since Feb. 9.

The Red Raiders move to 17-14 on the season and just might have sealed a berth in the NIT, Knight's goal coming into K.C.

"I think we should be in," Knight said. "I know we had a tough three weeks, but we play in the toughest league in the country and five of the teams [in the seven-game losing skid] were ranked. For them [NIT committee] to overlook us and the best conference in the country would be a shame. Honestly, I believe we deserve it."

Tech's John Roberson scored 19 points and Nick Okorie got hot in the second half to finish with 18. Brad Reese came off the bench to finish with 16 points. Mike Singletary finished with 13 points, making up for a poor shooting game by getting to the free throw line 11 times and making nine.

Now Tech gets a chance to make a big splash at 11:30 a.m. Thursday against No. 1 Kansas. The Jayhawks smothered the Red Raiders in their lone meeting this season, 89-63. Singletary, Tech's leading scorer, was held scoreless in the game on just four shot attempts in 20 minutes. He's looking forward to the rematch.

"It's always fun to play Kansas," Singletary said. "It's always fun to play the so-called best team in the country."