By Betsy Blaney/The Associated Press
LUBBOCK, Texas — Brad Reese had 19 points and 10 rebounds to lead Texas Tech past Jacksonville 69-64 Saturday in the second round of the National Invitation Tournament.
The Red Raiders (19-15) overcame an 11-point first-half deficit and didn’t take the lead until 14:51 remained, when a dunk and free throw by D’wayln Roberts made it 45-42.
Jacksonville tied it 62 on a basket by Ben Smith with 2:11 remaining, but the Red Raiders got stops and made free throws to close out the Dolphins.
Red Raiders coach Pat Knight let his players have it during a first-half timeout.
“I actually was calm at halftime,” he said. “They probably thought I was going to go off on them. I have trust in these guys. That wasn’t us in the first half. They’re better than this plus these guys get on each other.
Reese was 5 of 11 from the field, and 3 of 4 on 3-pointers. It was the first double-double of his career.
Tech will play Ole Miss in Oxford on Tuesday.
“They’ve put themselves in position to win five games more than last year,” he said. “There are so many positives already. Whatever happens in Oxford is just going to be something added to it.”
Smith scored 17 points to lead the Dolphins (20-13).
He missed six of his seven 3-point attempts, but Jacksonville coach Cliff Warren said those misses frequently led to second-chance points.
“He’s been great,” Warren said. “He’s led us on the court and off the court the entire year.”
Texas Tech shot poorly to open the game, missing its first nine shots to fall behind 10-0. The Dolphins went up by double digits twice in the first half and the Red Raiders’ top three scorers — John Roberson, Mike Singletary and Nick Okorie — combined to hit on only 3 of 10 from the field for eight points.
Jacksonville led 35-28 at halftime.