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NCAA MEN'S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT

Saint Joseph's Punches Ticket to Round of 16

The Hawks need a layup from Jones in closing seconds to help defeat Texas Tech, 70-65

March 21, 2004|Desmond Conner | Hartford Courant

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Saint Joseph's may have been shooting jump shots all game against Texas Tech, but it was a layup by Dwayne Jones with the shot-clock near zero and 13.4 seconds left that secured a 70-65 second-round victory over the Red Raiders on Saturday.

The top-seeded Hawks (29-1) will return to the round of 16 for the first time since 1997 and will have oodles of support in East Rutherford, N.J. when they play Wake Forest Thursday at the Meadowlands.

"I was surprised Delonte [West] threw the pass inside, to be honest with you," Jones said. "I was nervous there for about two seconds but I'm glad we pulled it out."

Jameer Nelson led the Hawks with 24 points. West added 15 and Pat Carroll 14. Andre Emmett led Texas Tech with 18 points.

The three Saint Joseph's perimeter standouts were responsible for nine of 12 three-point baskets. Jones' basket was only his second of the game, but his play inside made a difference.

The Red Raiders (23-11) had the advantage inside but Jones had 12 rebounds. Texas Tech outscored Saint Joseph's, 38-18, inside.

"Everybody says they have the advantage inside against us," Jones said. "But we still came out with the win."

The Hawks led, 60-53, on a Nelson three-point basket with 7:57 to play but Texas Tech came roaring back with seven of eight free throws to tie the score at 60 with 5:09 to play.

Carroll answered with a three-point basket to give Saint Joseph's breathing room. The Red Raiders got within 68-65 on an Emmett bank shot with 45.5 seconds left.

But the Hawks worked the ball around the perimeter to kill the clock until Jones was found underneath for an easy basket.

Saint Joseph's led, 36-31, on the strength of a 12-0 run that helped erase a 21-12 deficit. West scored nine points during the run.

Texas Tech ended a nearly three-minute scoring drought when Ronald Ross got inside for a basket.

The Red Raiders' next basket didn't come until 5:04 later, while West, Nelson and Pat Carroll boosted the St. Joe's lead to 36-23.

The Hawks' backcourt combined for 23 first-half points.

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